Thomas Hardy

The Fiddler

The fiddler knows what's brewing
        To the lilt of his lyric wiles:
The fiddler knows what rueing
        Will come of this night's smiles!

He sees couples join them for dancing,
         And afterwards joining for life,
He sees them pay high for their prancing
        By a welter of wedded strife.

He twangs: ‘Music hails from the devil,
        Though vaunted to come from heaven,
For it makes people do at a revel
        What multiplies sins by seven.

‘There's many a heart now mangled,
        And waiting its time to go,
Whose tendrils were first entangled
        By my sweet viol and bow!’