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Night-Scented Stock

Written by: Katherine Mansfield | Biography
 | Quotes (17) |
 White, white in the milky night
The moon danced over a tree.
"Wouldn't it be lovely to swim in the lake!" Someone whispered to me.
"Oh, do-do-do!" cooed someone else, And clasped her hands to her chin.
"I should so love to see the white bodies-- All the white bodies jump in!" The big dark house hid secretly Behind the magnolia and the spreading pear-tree; But there was a sound of music--music rippled and ran Like a lady laughing behind her fan, Laughing and mocking and running away.
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"Come into the garden--it's as light as day!" "I can't dance to that Hungarian stuff, The rhythm in it is not passionate enough," Said somebody.
"I absolutely refuse.
.
.
.
" But he took off his socks and his shoes And round he spun.
"It's like Hungarian fruit dishes Hard and bright--a mechanical blue!" His white feet flicked in the grass like fishes.
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Someone cried: "I want to dance, too!" But one with a queer Russian ballet head Curled up on a blue wooden bench instead.
And another, shadowy--shadowy and tall-- Walked in the shadow of the dark house wall, Someone beside her.
It shone in the gloom, His round grey hat, like a wet mushroom.
"Don't you think perhaps.
.
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" piped someone's flute.
"How sweet the flowers smell!" I heard the other say.
Somebody picked a wet, wet pink, Smelled it and threw it away.
"Is the moon a virgin or is she a harlot?" Asked somebody.
Nobody would tell.
The faces and the hands moved in a pattern As the music rose and fell, In a dancing, mysterious, moon-bright pattern Like flowers nodding under the sea.
.
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The music stopped and there was nothing left of them But the moon dancing over the tree.



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