Gold Locks And Silver Locks

upil and master together,
The wise man and the child
Merrily talking and laughing
Under the lamp-light mild.

Pupil and master together,
A fair sight to behold,
With his thronging locks of silver
And her tresses of ruddy gold.

Well, little girl, did you practise
On the violin to-day?
What is the air I gave you?
Have you forgotten, pray?

And he sings a few notes and pauses,
Half frowning to see her stand
Perplexed, with her white brows knitted,
And her chin upon her hand.

Far off in the street of a sudden
Comes the sound of a wandering band,
And the blare of brass rings faintly,
Too distant to understand.

Hark! says the master, smiling,
Bending his head to hear,
In what key are they playing?
Can you tell me that, my dear?

Is it D minor? Try it!
To the piano and try!
She strikes it, the sweet sound answers,
Her touch so light and shy.

And swift as steel to magnet,
The far tones and the near
Unite and are blended together
Smoothly upon the ear.

I thought, if one had the power,
What a beautiful thing it would be,
Hearing Life’s manifold music,
To strike in one’s self the key;

Whether joyful or sorry, to answer,
As wind-harps answer the air,
And solve by simple submission
Its riddles of trouble and care.

But the little maid knew nothing
Of thoughts so grave and wise,
As she stole again to her teacher,
And lifted her merry eyes.

And neither dreamed what a picture
They made, the young and the old, —
With his thronging locks of silver,
And her tresses of ruddy gold.

– Celia Thaxter