Up, Then, Dance We To The Song

Up, then, dance we to the song,
Care, for ever be thou gone!
Firm at length shall be my step,
High again my spirit leap!

by Walther von der Vogelweide.


Som Dandsens Toner svinde Livets Lykke,
Et Rosen-Blad paa Tidens raske Strøm.
Imorgen Dandsen mindes med dens Psyche,
Men borte er hun, som en deilig Drøm.

by Hans Christian Andersen.

Your Love Has Made Me Dance All Over

Your love has made me dance all over.
Falling in love with you
Was supping a cup of poison.
Come, my healer, it's my final hour.
Your love has made me dance all over.

by Bulleh Shah.

The Dancer At Cruachan And Cro-Patrick

I, proclaiming that there is
Among birds or beasts or men
One that is perfect or at peace.
Danced on Cruachan's windy plain,
Upon Cro-patrick sang aloud;
All that could run or leap or swim
Whether in wood, water or cloud,
Acclaiming, proclaiming, declaiming Him.

by William Butler Yeats.

The Baby's Dance

Dance little baby, dance up high,
Never mind baby, mother is by;
Crow and caper, caper and crow,
There little baby, there you go;
Up to the ceiling, down to the ground,
Backwards and forwards, round and round;
Dance little baby, and mother shall sing,
With the merry coral, ding, ding, ding.

by Ann Taylor.

ARE favoring ladies above thee?
Are there dowries and lands? Do they say
Seven others are fair? But I love thee:
Aultre n’auray!

All the sea is a lawn in our country;
All the morrow, our star of delay.
I am King: let me live on thy bounty!
Aulture n’auray!

To the fingers so light and so rosy
That have pinioned my heart,(welladay!)
Be a kiss, be a ring with this posy:
Aultre n’auray!

by Louise Imogen Guiney.

At The Ship’s Rail

The blue sea bends to the ship
Like a dancer with skirts of lace—
Wide diaphanous laces that curl and dip
In the ardent wind's embrace.

Little rainbows dash at the play
And die of joy in the sun;
While over and under, the long bright day,
The sparkling footsteps run.

Lovely, melodious
Is the sound of the dance on the sea.
Softly the white robes trail and toss
Over blue waves that flee.

by Harriet Monroe.

THE girl goes dancing there
On the leaf-sown, new-mown, smooth
Grass plot of the garden;
Escaped from bitter youth,
Escaped out of her crowd,
Or out of her black cloud.
Ah, dancer, ah, sweet dancer.!

If strange men come from the house
To lead her away, do not say
That she is happy being crazy;
Lead them gently astray;
Let her finish her dance,
Let her finish her dance.
Ah, dancer, ah, sweet dancer.!

by William Butler Yeats.

Lights, in a multi-coloured mist,
From indigo to amethyst,
A whirling mist of multi-coloured lights;
And after, wigs and tights,
Then faces, then a glimpse of profiles, then
Eyes, and a mist again;
And rouge, and always tights, and wigs, and tights.

You see the ballet so, and so,
From amethyst to indigo;
You see a dance of phantoms, but I see
A girl, who smiles to me;
Her cheeks, across the rouge, and in her eyes
I know what memories,
What memories and messages for me.

by Arthur Symons.

The Privileged Lovers

The moon has become a dancer
at this festival of love.
This dance of light,

This sacred blessing,
This divine love,
beckons us
to a world beyond
only lovers can see
with their eyes of fiery passion.

They are the chosen ones
who have surrendered.
Once they were particles of light
now they are the radiant sun.

They have left behind
the world of deceitful games.
They are the privileged lovers
who create a new world
with their eyes of fiery passion.

Translated by: Fereydoun Kia

by Mewlana Jalaluddin Rumi.

Behold the brand of beauty tossed!
See how the motion does dilate the flame!
Delighted love his spoils does boast,
And triumph in this game.
Fire, to no place confined,
Is both our wonder and our fear;
Moving the mind,
As lightning hurled through air.

High heaven the glory does increase
Of all her shining lamps, this artful way;
The sun in figures, such as these,
Joys with the moon to play.
To the sweet strains they all advance,
Which do result from their own spheres,
As this nymph's dance
Moves with the numbers which she hears.

by Edmund Waller.

Death has taken me out for a swing.
At first I didn't drop from the quickstep
In his dance and clogged right along
Until he drove the tempo up.

How swiftly was I pulled into being
The jumping jack, the dancing chicken,
Becoming nothing but a scream to God
With no hope of what He was thinking.

Then Death lifted me up high and spun me
Into the sky so God would be pleased with him,
For he doesn't take what God doesn't give.

But suddenly he let his catch fall,
For in the alphabet of the first silence,
God has just two words for him: Not today!

by Franz Werfel.

To Mrs. J.S. Blackie

Dear Friend, once, in a dream, I, looking o'er
The Past, saw the Four Seasons slow advance
Dancing, and, dancing, each her cognizance
So gave and took that neither dancer bore
Her sign, but in another's symbol wore
An amulet to lessen or enhance
Herself: till as they fast and faster dance
I see a dance and lose the dancing four.
Thus thy dear Poet, at his sportive will,
Commingling every seasonable mood
Of old and young, and the peculiar ill
Of each still healing with the other's good,
Bends to a circle life's proverbial span
Where childhood, youth, and age are unity in man.

by Sydney Thompson Dobell.

The Primrose Dance

Skirts like the amber petals of a flower,
A primrose dancing for delight
In some enchantment of a bower
That rose to wizard music in the night;

A rhythmic flower whose petals pirouette
In delicate circles, fain to follow
The vague aerial minuet,
The mazy dancing of the swallow;

A flower's caprice, a bird's command
Of all the airy ways that lie
In light along the wonder-land,
The wonder-haunted loneliness of sky:

So, in the smoke-polluted place,
Where bird or flower might never be,
With glimmering feet, with flower-like face,
She dances at the Tivoli.

by Arthur Symons.

I Cannot Dance Upon My Toes

326

I cannot dance upon my Toes—
No Man instructed me—
But oftentimes, among my mind,
A Glee possesseth me,

That had I Ballet knowledge—
Would put itself abroad
In Pirouette to blanch a Troupe—
Or lay a Prima, mad,

And though I had no Gown of Gauze—
No Ringlet, to my Hair,
Nor hopped to Audiences—like Birds,
One Claw upon the Air,

Nor tossed my shape in Eider Balls,
Nor rolled on wheels of snow
Till I was out of sight, in sound,
The House encore me so—

Nor any know I know the Art
I mention—easy—Here—
Nor any Placard boast me—
It's full as Opera—

by Emily Dickinson.

Dance!
Dance!
The priest is yellow with sunflower meal,
He is yellow with corn-meal,
He is yellow as the sun.
Dance!
Dance!
His little bells are ringing,
The bells tinkle like sunlight,
The sun is rising.
Dance!
Dance!
Perhaps I will throw you a basket,
Perhaps I will throw you my heart.

Lift the baskets, dancing,
Lower the baskets, dancing,
We have raised fruits,
Now we dance.
Our shadows are long,
The sunlight is bright between our shadows.
Do you want my basket?
Catch it!
Catch it!
But you cannot catch me,
I am more difficult.

by Amy Lowell.

For An Allegorical Dance Of Women By Andrea Mantegna

(In the Louvre)
SCARCELY, I think; yet it indeed may be
The meaning reached him, when this music rang
Clear through his frame, a sweet possessive pang,
And he beheld these rocks and that ridged sea.
But I believe that, leaning tow'rds them, he
Just felt their hair carried across his face
As each girl passed him; nor gave ear to trace
How many feet; nor bent assuredly
His eyes from the blind fixedness of thought
To know the dancers. It is bitter glad
Even unto tears. Its meaning filleth it,
A secret of the wells of Life: to wit:—
The heart's each pulse shall keep the sense it had
With all, though the mind's labour run to nought.

by Dante Gabriel Rossetti.

What do you think I saw to-day when I arose at dawn?
Blue Wrens and Yellow-tails dancing on the lawn!
Bobbing here, and bowing there, gossiping away,
And how I wished that you were there to see the merry play!

But you were snug abed, my boy, blankets to your chin,
Nor dreamed of dancing birds without or sunbeams dancing in.
Grey Thrush, he piped the tune for them. I peeped out through the glass
Between the window curtains, and I saw them on the grass -

Merry little fairy folk, dancing up and down,
Blue bonnet, yellow skirt, cloaks of grey and brown,
Underneath the wattle-tree, silver in the dawn,
Blue Wrens and Yellow-tails dancing on the lawn.

by Clarence Michael James Stanislaus Dennis.

Intoxicatingly
Her eyes across the footlights gleam,
(The wine of love, the wine of dream)
Her eyes, that gleam for me!

The eyes of all that see
Draw to her glances, stealing fire
From her desire that leaps to my desire;
Her eyes that gleam for me!

Subtly, deliciously,
A quickening fire within me, beat
The rhythms of her poising feet;
Her feet that poise to me!

Her body's melody,
In silent waves of wandering sound,
Thrills to the sense of all around,
Yet thrills alone for me!

And oh, intoxicatingly,
When, at the magic moment's close,
She dies into the rapture of repose,
Her eyes that gleam for me!

by Arthur Symons.

Invitation À La Valse

C'était une amitié simple et pourtant secrète :
J'avais sur sa parure un fraternel pouvoir,
Et quand au seuil d'un bal nous nous trouvions le soir,
J'aimais à l'arrêter devant moi tout prête.

Elle abattait sa jupe en renversant la tête,
Et consultait mes yeux comme un dernier miroir,
Puis elle me glissait un furtif : 'Au revoir !'
Et belle, en souveraine, elle entrait dans la fête.

Je l'y suivais bientôt. Sur un signe connu,
Parmi les mendiants que sa malice affame,
Je m'avançais vers elle et, modeste, ingénu :

'Vous m'avez accordé cette valse, madame ?'
J'avais l'air de prier n'importe quelle femme,
Elle me disait : 'Oui', comme au premier venu.

by Rene Francois Armand Prudhomme.

Let verse of yours be flexible, but strong,
Strong as a poplar under valley's cover,
Strong as the earth under a plough, long,
Strong as a girl, who never knew a lover.

Reliably preserve severity at length,
Your verse need not be fluttering or booming,
Although the Muse has very easy steps,
She's not a dancer, but a goddess, ruling.

Frolicsome din of interrupted rhymes --
Temptation for decline, so free and so easy --
Just leave for use by jokers in a dance
On city streets for people who aren't busy.

And going out on the sacred paths,
Bring to melodiousness your chosen damnation.
You know, she's a mistress of the mass,
She craves embraces, as a dearth -- donations.

by Nikolai Stepanovich Gumilev.

One Hour Ater The Dance Of Death

I lay in the abyss, where twisting squeezing
The lowest form of life pushed itself peristaltically.
Where slippery and slimy worm and eel entwined,
I was a worm myself, overwhelmed with exhaustion.

This lasted an eon before I succeeded,
And one of my senses could slowly lift itself up,
The sense of hearing. Listening, it scouted out if
The dancer, Death, had finally waltzed into the distance.

I eavesdrop breathless. Then a sparkling chromatic scale
Flows wanly from the open window next door.
Maybe Death is sitting there tuning his piano.

And while my life enjoys zestfully eating and fills with gas,
I feel him lean in that requisite little side room,
Where he invisibly reads, rustling the evening paper.

by Franz Werfel.

April Midnight?

Side by side through the streets at midnight,
Roaming together,
Through the tumultuous night of London,
In the miraculous April weather.

Roaming together under the gaslight,
Day's work over,
How the Spring calls to us, here in the city,
Calls to the heart from the heart of a lover!

Cool to the wind blows, fresh in our faces,
Cleansing, entrancing,
After the heat and the fumes and the footlights,
Where you dance and I watch your dancing.

Good it is to be here together,
Good to be roaming,
Even in London, even at midnight,
Lover-like in a lover's gloaming.

You the dancer and I the dreamer,
Children together,
Wandering lost in the night of London,
In the miraculous April weather.

by Arthur Symons.

Let verse of yours be flexible, but strong,
Strong as a poplar under valley's cover,
Strong as the earth under a plough, long,
Strong as a girl, who never knew a lover.

Reliably preserve severity at length,
Your verse need not be fluttering or booming,
Although the Muse has very easy steps,
She's not a dancer, but a goddess, ruling.

Frolicsome din of interrupted rhymes -
Temptation for decline, so free and so easy -
Just leave for use by jokers in a dance
On city streets for people who aren't busy.

And going out on the sacred paths,
Bring to melodiousness your chosen damnation.
You know, she's a mistress of the mass,
She craves embraces, as a dearth - donations.


Translated by Yevgeny Bonver, January, 2000

by Nikolay Stepanovich Gumilyov.

Dance Of The Sunbeams

WHEN morning is high o'er the hilltops
On river and stream and lake,
Wherever a young breeze whispers,
The sun-clad dancers wake.
One after one up-springing,
They flash from their dim retreat.
Merry as running laughter
Is the news of their twinkling feet.
Over the floors of azure
Wherever the wind-flaws run,
Sparkling, leaping, and racing,
Their antics scatter the sun.
As long as water ripples
And weather is clear and glad,
Day after day they are dancing,
Never a moment sad.
But when through the field of heaven
The wings of storm take flight,
At a touch of the flying shadows
They falter and slip from sight.
Until at the gray day's ending,
As the squadrons of cloud retire,
They pass in the triumph of sunset
With banners of crimson fire.

by Bliss William Carman.

The Spanish Dancer

As on all its sides a kitchen-match darts white
flickering tongues before it bursts into flame:
with the audience around her, quickened, hot,
her dance begins to flicker in the dark room.

And all at once it is completely fire.

One upward glance and she ignites her hair
and, whirling faster and faster, fans her dress
into passionate flames, till it becomes a furnace
from which, like startled rattlesnakes, the long
naked arms uncoil, aroused and clicking.

And then: as if the fire were too tight
around her body, she takes and flings it out
haughtily, with an imperious gesture,
and watches: it lies raging on the floor,
still blazing up, and the flames refuse to die -
Till, moving with total confidence and a sweet
exultant smile, she looks up finally
and stamps it out with powerful small feet.

by Rainer Maria Rilke.

But In The Wine-Presses The Human Grapes Sing Not Nor Dance

But in the Wine-presses the human grapes sing not nor dance:
They howl and writhe in shoals of torment, in fierce flames consuming,
In chains of iron and in dungeons circled with ceaseless fires,
In pits and dens and shades of death, in shapes of torment and woe:
The plates and screws and racks and saws and cords and fires and cisterns
The cruel joys of Luvah's Daughters, lacerating with knives
And whips their victims, and the deadly sport of Luvah's Sons.

They dance around the dying and they drink the howl and groan,
They catch the shrieks in cups of gold, they hand them to one another:
These are the sports of love, and these the sweet delights of amorous play,
Tears of the grape, the death sweat of the cluster, the last sigh
Of the mild youth who listens to the luring songs of Luvah.----

by William Blake.

Milton: But In The Wine-Presses The Human Grapes Sing Not Nor Dance

But in the Wine-presses the human grapes sing not nor dance:
They howl and writhe in shoals of torment, in fierce flames consuming,
In chains of iron and in dungeons circled with ceaseless fires,
In pits and dens and shades of death, in shapes of torment and woe:
The plates and screws and racks and saws and cords and fires and cisterns
The cruel joys of Luvah's Daughters, lacerating with knives
And whips their victims, and the deadly sport of Luvah's Sons.

They dance around the dying and they drink the howl and groan,
They catch the shrieks in cups of gold, they hand them to one another:
These are the sports of love, and these the sweet delights of amorous play,
Tears of the grape, the death sweat of the cluster, the last sigh
Of the mild youth who listens to the luring songs of Luvah.

by William Blake.

O, the fun, the fun and frolic
That The Wind that Shakes the Barley
Scatters through a penny-whistle
Tickled with artistic fingers!

Kate the scrubber (forty summers,
Stout but sportive) treads a measure,
Grinning, in herself a ballet,
Fixed as fate upon her audience.

Stumps are shaking, crutch-supported;
Splinted fingers tap the rhythm;
And a head all helmed with plasters
Wags a measured approbation.

Of their mattress-life oblivious,
All the patients, brisk and cheerful,
Are encouraging the dancer,
And applauding the musician.

Dim the gas-lights in the output
Of so many ardent smokers,
Full of shadow lurch the corners,
And the doctor peeps and passes.

There are, maybe, some suspicions
Of an alcoholic presence . . .
'Tak' a sup of this, my wumman!' . . .
New Year comes but once a twelvemonth.

by William Ernest Henley.

Heel and toe, heel and toe,
That is the song we sing;
Turn to your partner and curtsey low,
Balance and forward and swing.
Corners are draughty and meadows are white,
This is the game for a winter's night.

Hands around, hands around,
Trip it, and not too slow;
Clear is the fiddle and sweet its sound,
Keep the girls' cheeks aglow.
Still let your movements be dainty and light,
This is the game for a winter's night.

Back to back, back to back,
Turn to your place again;
Never let lightness nor nimbleness lack,
Either in maidens or men.
Time hasteth ever, beware of its flight,
Oh, what a game for a winter's night!

Slower now, slower now,
Softer the music sighs;
Look, there are beads on your partner's brow
Though there be light in her eyes.
Lead her away and her grace requite,
So goes the game on a winter's night.

by Paul Laurence Dunbar.

La Mélinite: Moulin Rouge

Olivier Metra's Waltz of Roses
Sheds in a rhythmic shower
The very petals of the flower;
And all is roses,
The rouge of petals in a shower.

Down the long hall the dance returning
Rounds the full circle, rounds
The perfect rose of lights and sounds,
The rose returning
Into the circle of its rounds.

Alone, apart, one dancer watches
Her mirrored, morbid grace;
Before the mirror, face to face,
Alone she watches
Her morbid, vague, ambiguous grace.

Before the mirror's dance of shadows
She dances in a dream,
And she and they together seem
A dance of shadows;
Alike the shadows of a dream.

The orange-rosy lamps are trembling
Between the robes that turn;
In ruddy flowers of flame that burn
The lights are trembling:
The shadows and the dancers turn.

And, enigmatically smiling,
In the mysterious night,
She dances for her own delight,
A shadow smiling
Back to a shadow in the night.

by Arthur Symons.

As in one's hand a lighted match blinds you before
it comes aflame and sends out brilliant flickering
tongues to every side - so, within the ring of the
spectators, her dance begins in hasty, heated rhythms
and spreads itself darting flames around.

And suddenly the dance is altogether flame!

With a fierce glance she sets her hair alight.
Unexpectedly she turns with daring artfulness
the swirling flounces of her dress within this
conflagaration, out of which her upheld naked arms,
clapping the castanets, appear like serpents striking.

And then, afraid her fire were diminishing,
she gathers it all up and flings it down
with an imperious haughtly gesture, and watches
as it lies there writhing on the ground, unyielding
and unwilling to concede the dance has ended.
Yet she show victory in her sweet swift smile
as she lifts up her face, while with her small firm feet
she stamps out the last of the dying embers.


Translated by Albert Ernest Flemming

by Rainer Maria Rilke.

The Dance Of The Rain

The Dance of the Rain
Oh, the dance of our Sister!
First, over the hilltop she peeps stealthily
and her eyes are shy
and she laughs softly
From afar she begs with her one hand
her wrist-bands shimmering and her bead-work sparkling
softly she calls
She tells the wind about the dance
and she invites it, because the yard is spacious and the wedding large
The big game rush about the plains
they gather on the hilltop
their nostrils flared-up
and they swallow the wind
and they crouch to see her tracks in the sand
The small game, deep down under the floor, hear the rhythm of her feet
and they creep, come closer and sing softly
"Our Sister! Our Sister! You've come! You've come!"
and her bead-work shake,
and her copper wrist-bands shine in the disappearance of the sun
On her forehead, rests the eagle's plume
She decends down from the hilltop
She spreads her ashened cloak with both arms
the breath of the wind disappears
Oh, the dance of our Sister!

by Eugene Marais.

A Chanted Calendar

FIRST came the primrose,
On the bank high,
Like a maiden looking forth
From the window of a tower
When the battle rolls below,
So look'd she,
And saw the storms go by.

Then came the wind-flower
In the valley left behind,
As a wounded maiden, pale
With purple streaks of woe,
When the battle has roll'd by
Wanders to and fro,
So totter'd she,
Dishevell'd in the wind.

Then came the daisies,
On the first of May,
Like a banner'd show's advance
While the crowd runs by the way,
With ten thousand flowers about them
they came trooping through the fields.

As a happy people come,
So came they,
As a happy people come
When the war has roll'd away,
With dance and tabor, pipe and drum,
And all make holiday.

Then came the cowslip,
Like a dancer in the fair,
She spread her little mat of green,
And on it danced she.
With a fillet bound about her brow,
A fillet round her happy brow,
A golden fillet round her brow,
And rubies in her hair.

by Sydney Thompson Dobell.

The Night Dance

Strike the gay harp! see the moon is on high,
And, as true to her beam as the tides of the ocean,
Young hearts, when they feel the soft light of her eye,
Obey the mute call, and heave into motion.
Then, sound notes - the gayest, the lightest,
That ever took wing, when heaven look'd brightest
Again! Again!
Oh! could such heart-stirring music be heard
In that City of Statues described by romancers,
So wakening its spell, even stone would be stirr'd,
And statues themselves all start into dancers!

Why then delay, with such sounds in our ears,
And the flower of Beauty's own garden before us -
While stars overhead leave the song of their spheres,
And, listening to ours, hang wondering o'er us?
Again, that strain! - to hear it thus sounding
Might set even Death's cold pulses bounding -
Again! Again!
Oh, what delight when the youthful and gay
Each with eye like a sunbeam and foot like a feather,
Thus dance, like the Hours to the music of May,
And mingle sweet song and sunshine together.

by Thomas Moore.

When to sweet music my lady is dancing
My heart to mild frenzy her beauty inspires.
Into my face are her brown eyes a-glancing,
And swift my whole frame thrills with tremulous fires.
Dance, lady, dance, for the moments are fleeting,
Pause not to place yon refractory curl;
Life is for love and the night is for sweeting;
Dreamily, joyously, circle and whirl.

Oh, how those viols are throbbing and pleading;
A prayer is scarce needed in sound of their strain.
Surely and lightly as round you are speeding,
You turn to confusion my heart and my brain.
Dance, lady, dance to the viol's soft calling,
Skip it and trip it as light as the air;
Dance, for the moments like rose leaves are falling,
Strikes, now, the clock from its place on the stair.

Now sinks the melody lower and lower,
The weary musicians scarce seeming to play.
Ah, love, your steps now are slower and slower,
The smile on your face is more sad and less gay.
Dance, lady, dance to the brink of our parting,
My heart and your step must not fail to be light.
Dance! Just a turn--tho' the tear-drop be starting.
Ah--now it is done--so--my lady, good-night!

by Paul Laurence Dunbar.

Gopies, Like, Fairies Dance

1. Let us form a ring

2. Flowers would we offer In prayer: Trust we not The strangers!

3. Jostled with Him in dance

4. Pearls for tears, They shed ! In measured steps and, rhythmic movement

5. Receptive mind's and shaky feet, He may Stabalize !

6. Bewitched by the bright lamp The butterfly O, When'll we be mad after The madman (The Lord!)

7. Bare-footed in woods in blazing heat and Blistered over---Hot roads

8. How hard is to Speak the Truth (This much) revelation Even after self -realisation The desire to probe, What else is said',
Still persists!

And dance like Fairies bright

Lord Krishana to awaken From Slumber! And dance like Fairies bright.

Solaced and soothed is He And dance like Fairies bright!

Piles of emeralds they build!

May we dance like Fairies bright.

Induce compassion in Krishna, It may! And dance like Fairies bright

Dances around and Gives its life in the dance!

And merge like it with Him.

In the ecstasy of the dance Around Him! Weary and Exhausted'ld those Krishna Bhakhta become May we dance like Fairies bright! Who has's been blessed with The Parma Ananda?

And dance like Fairies bright!

by Swami Parmanand.

Nora On The Pavement

As Nora on the pavement
Dances, and she entrances the grey hour
Into the laughing circle of her power,
The magic circle of her glances,
As Nora dances on the midnight pavement;

Petulant and bewildered,
Thronging desires and longing looks recur,
And memorably re-incarnate her,
As I remember that old longing,
A footlight fancy, petulant and bewildered;

There where the ballet circles,
See her, but ah! not free her from the race
Of glittering lines that link and interlace;
This colour now, now that, may be her,
In the bright web of those harmonious circles.

But what are these dance-measures,
Leaping and joyous, keeping time alone
With Life's capricious rhythm, and all her own,
Life's rhythm and hers, long sleeping,
That wakes, and knows not why, in these dance-measures?

It is the very Nora;
Child, and most blithe, and wild as any elf,
And innocently spendthrift of herself,
And guileless and most unbeguiled,
Herself at last, leaps free the very Nora.

It is the soul of Nora,
Living at last, and giving forth to the night,
Bird-like, the burden of its own delight,
All its desire, and all the joy of living,
In that blithe madness of the soul of Nora.

by Arthur Symons.

Snow Dance For The Dead

Dance, little children ... it is holy twilight . . .
Have you hung paper flowers about the necks of the ikons?
Dance soft . . . but very gaily ... on tip-toes like the snow.

Spread your little pinafores
And courtesy as the snow does . . .
The snow that bends this way and that
In silent salutation.
Do not wait to warm your hands about the fires.
Do not mind the rough licking of the wind.
Dance forth into the shaggy night that shakes itself upon you.

Dance beneath the Kremlin towers—golden
In the royal
Purple of the sky—
But not there where the light is strongest . . .
Bright hair is dazzling in the light.
Dance in the dim violet places
Where the snow throws out a faint lustre
Like the lustre of dead faces . . .
Snow downier than wild-geese feathers . . .
Enough filling for five hundred pillows ...
By the long deep trench of the dead.

Bend, little children,
To the rhythm of the snow
That undulates this way and that
In silver spirals.
Cup your hands like tiny chalices . . .
Let the flakes fill up the rosy
Hollows of your palms
And alight upon your hair,
Like kisses that cling softly
A moment and let go ...
Like many kisses falling altogether . . .
Quick . . . cool kisses.

by Lola Ridge.

Invitation À La Valse

Mignonne, voici le juin.
Il fait une chaleur folle
À griller un Bédouin,
À fondre le Protocole.

C’est le moment de sottir
Et d’aller à la campagne
Au lieu d’icigo rôtir.
Viens, qui m’aime m’accompagne.

Si tu veux, soyons hideux :
Mets ton habit de cycliste
Équivoque et hasardeux,
Moi, mon pantalon d’artiste.

Que le laid et l’odieux
Soient notre seul point de mire.
Qu’importe ! puisque les dieux
Ne veulent plus nous sourire.

Emporte tous les journaux
Afin qu’à l’ombre d’un hêtre
Nous lisions des tribunaux
Le compte rendu champêtre.

Tu liras l’Intransigeant
Pendant que Bibi l’Aurore.
Si l’un t’est un astringent
L’autre m’est une ellébore.

Ensuite je m’appuierai
Le rapport de cet oracle
Qu’on nomme Ballot-Beaupré,
Si tu n’y vois pas d’obstacle.

Moi je serai dreyfusard
Absolument par mégarde,
Et toi, comme par hasard,
Ma chère, antidreyfusarde.

Si tu veux, vice versa,
Tu n’y tiens pas davantage,
Moi-même, pas plus que ça ;
Tu vois d’ici l’avantage.

Et tandis nous échanger
Ces printanières querelles,
Partout on verra neiger
Des plumes de tourterelles…

Mais le soir nous a surpris.
Alors, ô ma bien-aimée,
Nous rentrerons à Paris
En criant : « Vive l’Armée !

by Raoul Ponchon.