Ina D. Coolbrith

(1842-1928 / Nauvoo, Illinois (Josephine D. Smith))

Dancers, The


They were so light, the little dancing feet,
The little feet, such little dancing feet!
Snow-white, snow-soft, snow-light;
First feather-flakes of snow, that only play
To fall, then disappear.
Lighter than gossamer;
Lighter than dew at dawn;
Lighter than thistle-down upon the wind,
Or humming-bird in flight-
Poised- then a dazzling flash of jeweled light;
Flower-fair, flower-soft, flower-sweet,
The little dancing feet.

The little dancing feet-
They danced to melodies of unseen flutes,
And tinkling fairy bells,
And far, faint throb of lutes
Attuned to finger-tips invisible.
Danced in a dreamland more than dreamland fair,
Where sparkling waters sang
And leaves lisped rippling rhyme
To the bird-carillons,
And flowering grasses caught and kissed the fleet,
Light, glancing, dancing feet.

They have danced far away, the little feet,
The little dancing feet, that were so dear!
They danced far away,
Into what hidden space
Of mist of wraith,
And haunted silences?
Alas, they do not stay-
They never, never stay!
Others will come-and go-
Dancing as airily,
Dancing as fairily,
Under as bright a blue;
But Ah! whence come they, and whither go?
The little feet,
The little dancing feet,
Flower-fair, flower-soft, flower-sweet,
The little dancing feet.

Submitted: Thursday, July 10, 2008
Edited: Friday, July 11, 2008

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