The young maiden requested of the youth at the piano
To teach her how to play that piece he played
He sat her by his side and tenderly began to show
The movements of the fingers to be laid
She went home weeping, but the tears were tears of joy and bliss
And in her memory the piece played on,
But when she got home, sorrow drew her into its abyss:
Quarrelling brothers used her to trade on;
The night went by and morning dawned and restless she arose
And moved as was her wont to the piano,
Played to unburden heart and mind, but could not shed her woes
‘Til she recalled the piece she’d learned to know.
So she began to play the piece, and peace returned to her
And then a wonder began to unfold:
Soon after she released the tones, there flew a dove, sans fear,
To perch on her window, and twitter bold
Amazed the maiden held her breath and continued to play
And the little dove continued to sing,
But when she changed the tune, to make the mood even more gay
The strange white dove flew off a-fluttering
“Can it be so?”, she asked herself, “That if I play this piece,
The unknown dove will come and sing along?
But any other tune, however full of sprite or bliss,
Will drive her forth again without a song?”
So she began to play again the piece the youth taught her
And verily, verily, it was so:
The singing dove returned unto the window-column clear
But when she changed or stopped, the dove would go…
Now she called a brother inside and, full of raptured joy,
Performed for him this miracle of sound
And not even the untamed heart of this untempered boy
Could resist the magic thus come around.
And so it was, her joy was great, her heart burst beyond bounds
To experience such unity in life –
Such harmony and true beauty that flowed even from sounds
And conquered every woe and every strife!
A-skipping and a-humming and a-dreaming and a-swaying
The young maiden ran cross-town to the youth
To tell him of this wonder that came to her while a-playing
The music piece he’d taught her in his boothe.
The youth was startled by her tale and refused to believe
For ‘twas a tale as strange as strange can be
So she sat down at his piano and that music did weave
And the dove came to them, singing freely…
And then the youth, with wondering eyes, told her a startling thing:
“This piece is called La Paloma – by jove! –
And La Paloma translated out of its Spanish ring
Would mean in English simply but the Dove.”
– Che Chidi Chukwumerije.