The Second Dance-song


Into thine eyes gazed I lately, O Life: gold saw I gleam in thy night-eyes, my heart stood still with delight —

A golden bark saw I gleam on darkened waters, a sinking, drinking, reblinking, golden swing-bark!

At my dance-frantic foot dost thou cast a glance, a laughing, questioning, melting, thrown glance:

Twice only movedst thou thy rattle with thy little hand; then did my feet swing with dance-fury —

My heels reared aloft, my toes they hearkened — thee they would know: hath not the dancer his ear — in his toe!

Unto thee did I spring; then fledst thou back from my bound, and towards me waved thy fleeing, flying tresses round!

Away from thee did I spring; and from thy snaky tresses; then stoodst thou there half-turned, and in thine eye caresses.

With crooked glances — dost thou teach me crooked courses; on crooked courses learn my feet crafty fancies!

I fear thee near, I love thee far; thy flight allureth me, thy seeking secureth me — I suffer, but for thee what would I not gladly bear!

For thee, whose coldness inflameth, whose hatred misleadeth, whose flight enchaineth, whose mockery — pleadeth.

Who would not hate thee, thou great bindress, inwindress, temptress, seekress, findress! Who would not love thee, thou innocent, impatient, wind-swift, child-eyed sinner!

Whither pullest thou me now, thou paragon and tomboy? And now foolest thou me fleeing; thou sweet romp dost annoy!

I dance after thee, I follow even faint traces lonely. Where art thou? Give me thy hand! Or thy finger only!

Here are caves and thickets: we shall go astray! Halt! Stand still! Seest thou not owls and bats in fluttering fray?

Thou bat! Thou owl! Thou wouldst play me foul? Where are we? From the dogs hast thou learned thus to bark and howl.

Thou gnashest on me sweetly with little white teeth; thine evil eyes shoot out upon me, thy curly little mane from underneath!

This is a dance over stock and stone: I am the hunter — wilt thou be my hound, or my chamois anon?

Now beside me! And quickly, wickedly springing! Now up! And over! Alas! I have fallen myself overswinging!

Oh, see me lying, thou arrogant one, and imploring grace. Gladly would I walk with thee — in some lovelier place!

— In the paths of love, through bushes variegated, quiet, trim! Or there along the lake, where gold- fishes dance and swim!

  By PanEris using Melati.

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