December 20, 2010

A Children’s Playtale: The Love Story of Harlequin & Columbine

Filed under: Literary Thingers — smcmuffins @ 1:31 am

I’ve a plot bunny in my tiny head, inspired by Commedia dell’arte’s Harlequinade. I haven’t really thought of it fully yet, but it has been in my thoughts for a couple of days now, even managed to draw out an image in my handy dandy sketchpad.

I’ll post the plot once I’ve constructed the skeleton in my mind. For the mean time, enjoy this lovely poem that pretty much describes their love story.

When Harlequin was Young
Ben Ezzell

Harlequin is quiet, gliding down the lane.
Harlequin goes softly, sliding through the rain.
Harlequin is silent,
Harlequin is bold,
And Harlequin never tells what Harleqin is told.

He tweaks the devil’s whiskers.
Flirts with the ladies fair
But when you go to seek him,
He’s hardly ever there.

Harlequin wears homespun,
With patches coloured gay,
Cap with bells and tassles,
Boots of leather gray.

He haunts in lady’s boudoir,
He taps upon the sash,
And when All Hallows Eve comes round,
He really has a bash.

Harlequin went dancing,
Down at the Harvest Fair,
And there he met sweet Columbine
With flowers in her hair.

Her cheeks were red as roses,
Her hair was soft, soft brown,
She was shod in velvet slippers
And a long green gown.

She danced so light and graceful,
She floated like a dove,
And Harlequin was smitten
With what mortals title love.

The golden moon is glowing,
Frost gives the air a chill,
As Harlequin and Columbine are
Dancing on the hill.

Harlequin danced lightly
.As he’d never danced before,
He danced himself enchanted
And then he danced some more.

At last the dance was over,
The musicians gone away
While silenced filled the meadows
And the darkness truned to gray.

But dawn did not find Harlequin
Alone with Columbine…
For in the shadows, Pirotte
Was watching all the time.

Harlequin loves Columbine
And Columbine Pirotte,
But Harlequin has magic
That never failed him yet.

Thus Harlequin faced Pirotte
And each their rapiers drew,
Facing across a meadow
Silvered with morning’s dew.

And Harlequin and Pirotte
Fought an awful fight,
Clashing with silver rapiers
In the dawning light.

Thrust and point and counterpoint;
The blades are flashing fast
Til Harlequin is victor
And Pirotte has lost at last.

Pirotte is sorely wounded,
Columbine could save him still
But Harlequin loves Columbine
And he controls her will.

Yes, Harlequin is sneaky
And Harlequin is sly
But Harlequoin has compassion
Though no-one dares ask why.

So Columbine has Pirotte
And Harlequin is gone
Setting the leaves a-trimble,
Singing a sad sweet song.

Harlequin the joker,
Playing the buffoon
Knows broken hearts are mended
Beneath the autumn moon.

By day, the leaves are full of colour,
The sun is shining bright
And there’ll be another Columbine
To dance with him tonight.

Moving like a breeze, gliding down the lane,
Harlequin is whistling a melodic refrain,
Harlequin is silent,
Harlequin is bold
And Harlequin never tells what Harlequin is told.


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