The Statues And The Tear

written by

« Reload image

  All night a fountain pleads,
  Telling her beads,
Her tinkling beads monotonous 'neath the moon;
  And where she springs atween,
  Two statues lean--
Two Kings, their marble beards with moonlight  strewn.
  Till hate had frozen speech,
  Each hated each,
Hated and died, and went unto his place:
  And still inveterate
  They lean and hate
With glare of stone implacable, face to face.
One, who bade set them here
  In stone austere,
To both was dear, and did not guess at all:
  Yet with her new-wed lord
  Walking the sward
Paused, and for two dead friends a tear let all. 
  She turn'd and went her way.
  Yet in the spray
The shining tear attempts, but cannot lie.
  Night-long the fountain drips,
  But even slips
Untold that one bead of her rosary:
  While they, who know it would
  Lie if it could,
Lean on and hate, watching it, eye to eye.

© Sir Arthur Quiller-Couch