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King Solomon And The Queen Of Sheba

Vachel Lindsay 1879 (Springfield) – 1931 (Springfield)

(A Poem Game.)

“And when the Queen of Sheba heard of the fame of Solomon, . . .
she came to prove him with hard questions.”

[The men’s leader rises as he sees the Queen unveiling
and approaching a position that gives her half of the stage.]

Men’s Leader: The Queen of Sheba came to see King Solomon.
[He bows three times.]
I was King Solomon,
I was King Solomon,
I was King Solomon.

[She bows three times.]
Women’s Leader: I was the Queen,
I was the Queen,
I was the Queen.

Both Leaders: We will be king and queen,
[They stand together stretching their hands over the land.]
Reigning on mountains green,
Happy and free
For ten thousand years.

[They stagger forward as though carrying a yoke together.]
Both Leaders: King Solomon he had four hundred oxen.

Congregation: We were the oxen.

[Here King and Queen pause at the footlights.]
Both Leaders: You shall feel goads no more.
[They walk backward, throwing off the yoke and rejoicing.]
Walk dreadful roads no more,
Free from your loads
For ten thousand years.

[The men’s leader goes forward, the women’s leader dances round him.]
Both Leaders: King Solomon he had four hundred sweethearts.

[Here he pauses at the footlights.]
Congregation: We were the sweethearts.

[He walks backward. Both clap their hands to the measure.]
Both Leaders: You shall dance round again,
You shall dance round again,
Cymbals shall sound again,
Cymbals shall sound again,
[The Queen appears to gather wildflowers.]
Wildflowers be found
For ten thousand years,
Wildflowers be found
For ten thousand years.

[He continues to command the congregation, the woman to dance.
He goes forward to the footlights.]
Both Leaders: And every sweetheart had four hundred swans.

Congregation: We were the swans.

[The King walks backward.]
Both Leaders: You shall spread wings again,
You shall spread wings again,
[Here a special dance, by the Queen: swans flying in circles.]
Fly in soft rings again,
Fly in soft rings again,
Swim by cool springs
For ten thousand years,
Swim by cool springs,
For ten thousand years.

[The refrain “King Solomon” may be intoned by the men’s leader
whenever it is needed to enable the women’s leader to get to
her starting point. All the refrains may be likewise used.]
Men’s Leader: King Solomon,
King Solomon.

Women’s Leader: The Queen of Sheba asked him like a lady,
[They bow to each other—then give a pantomime
indicating a great rose garden.]
Bowing most politely:
“What makes the roses bloom
Over the mossy tomb,
Driving away the gloom
Ten thousand years?”

Men’s Leader: King Solomon made answer to the lady,
[They bow and confer. The Queen reserved, but taking cognizance.
The King wooing with ornate gestures of respect, and courtly animation.]
Bowing most politely:
“They bloom forever thinking of your beauty,
Your step so queenly and your eyes so lovely.
These keep the roses fair,
Young and without a care,
Making so sweet the air,
Ten thousand years.”

[The two, with a manner almost a cake walk, go forward.]
Both Leaders: King Solomon he had four hundred sons.

[On this line, King and Queen pause before the footlights.]
Congregation: We were the sons.

[Pantomime of crowning the audience.]
Both Leaders: Crowned by the throngs again,
[On this line they walk backward, playing great imaginary harps.]
You shall make songs again,
Singing along
For ten thousand years.

[They go forward in a pony gallop, then stand pawing.]
Both Leaders: He gave each son four hundred prancing ponies.

Congregation: We were the ponies.

[They nod their heads, starting to walk backward.]
Both Leaders: You shall eat hay again,
[A pony dance by both, in circles.]
In forests play again,
Rampage and neigh
For ten thousand years.

Men’s Leader: King Solomon he asked the Queen of Sheba,
[They bow to each other, standing so that
each one commands half of the stage.]
Bowing most politely:
“What makes the oak-tree grow
Hardy in sun and snow,
Never by wind brought low
Ten thousand years?”

Women’s Leader: The Queen of Sheba answered like a lady,
[They bow to each other, again, with pantomime indicating a forest.]
Bowing most politely:
“It blooms forever thinking of your wisdom,
Your brave heart and the way you rule your kingdom.
These keep the oak secure,
Weaving its leafy lure,
Dreaming by fountains pure
Ten thousand years.”
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Submitted on May 13, 2011

3:45 min read
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Vachel Lindsay

Nicholas Vachel Lindsay was an American poet. more…

All Vachel Lindsay poems | Vachel Lindsay Books

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