The Dancing Girl
Do you know what it is to
Perhaps, you do know, in a fashion;
But by dancing I mean,
Not what’s generally seen,
But dancing of fire and passion,
Of fire and delirious passion.
With a dusky-haired senorita,
Her dark, misty eyes near your own,
And her scarlet-red mouth,
Like a rose of the south,
The reddest that ever was grown,
So close that you catch
Her quick-panting breath
As across your own face it is blown,
With a sigh, and a moan.
Ah! that is dancing,
As here by the Carib it’s known.
Now, whirling and twirling
Like furies we go;
Now, soft and caressing
And sinuously slow;
With an undulating motion,
Like waves on a breeze-kissed ocean:—
And the scarlet-red mouth
Is nearer your own,
And the dark, misty eyes
Still softer have grown.
Ah! that is dancing, that
As here by the Carib they’re known.
Sunset in the Tropics
A silver flash from the sinking
Then a shot of crimson across the sky
That, bursting, lets a thousand colors fly
And riot among the clouds; they run,
Deepening in purple, flaming in gold,
Changing, and opening fold after fold,
Then fading through all of the tints of the rose into gray,
Till, taking quick fright at the coming night,
They rush out down the west,
In hurried quest
Of the fleeing day.
Now above where the tardiest
color flares a moment yet,
One point of light, now two, now three are set
To form the starry stairs,—
And, in her fire-fly crown,
Queen Night, on velvet slippered feet, comes softly down.
Around the council-board of
Hell, with Satan at their head,
The Three Great Scourges of humanity sat.
Gaunt Famine, with hollow cheek and voice, arose and spoke,—
“O, Prince, I have stalked the earth,
And my victims by ten thousands I have slain,
I have smitten old and young.
Mouths of the helpless old moaning for bread, I have filled with dust;
And I have laughed to see a crying babe tug at the shriveling breast
Of its mother, dead and cold.
I have heard the cries and prayers of men go up to a tearless sky,
And fall back upon an earth of ashes;
But, heedless, I have gone on with my work.
’Tis thus, O, Prince, that I have scourged mankind.”
And Satan nodded his head.