The elderly Semibreve sat by the fire,
In as placid a state as her heart could desire;
Her matronly daughters, the Minims, sat near,
While their lively young progeny round them appear.

Of these four young Crochets who marched in a row
Thought their Mother and Grandmother both very slow,
While laughing and laying and making a rout
Eight mad little Quavers came frisking about.

But language would fail in describing the din,
When the Semi's and the Demi's came frolicking in;
I thought for their mirth the old ladies would chide them,
So I managed to put up some bars to divide them.

But they, little caring for what they might say,
On a ledger-line ladder got out of the way;
And some had two beats, and some four, to their share,
While those who had dots were the merriest there.

I know not how long the merry dance might have lasted,
With the semibreve's dignity strangely contrasted,
When a stupid old Rest who was voted a dunce,
Came suddenly on them --- and stopped them at once!

Reprinted by C&E.