But the cold dew spoiled their instruments

And they play for the foolish queen no more.

Instead those sturdy malcontents

Play sharps and flats in my kitchen floor.

How a Little Girl Danced

Dedicated to Lucy Bates

(Being a reminiscence of certain private theatricals.)

Oh, cabaret dancer, *I* know a dancer,

Whose eyes have not looked on the feasts that are vain.

*I* know a dancer, *I* know a dancer,

Whose soul has no bond with the beasts of the plain:

Judith the dancer, Judith the dancer,

With foot like the snow, and with step like the rain.

Oh, thrice-painted dancer, vaudeville dancer,

Sad in your spangles, with soul all astrain,

*I* know a dancer, *I* know a dancer,

Whose laughter and weeping are spiritual gain,

A pure-hearted, high-hearted maiden evangel,

With strength the dark cynical earth to disdain.

Flowers of bright Broadway, you of the chorus,

Who sing in the hope of forgetting your pain:

I turn to a sister of Sainted Cecilia,

A white bird escaping the earth's tangled skein: --

The music of God is her innermost brooding,

The whispering angels her footsteps sustain.

Oh, proud Russian dancer: praise for your dancing.

No clean human passion my rhyme would arraign.

You dance for Apollo with noble devotion,

A high cleansing revel to make the heart sane.

But Judith the dancer prays to a spirit

More white than Apollo and all of his train.

I know a dancer who finds the true Godhead,

Who bends o'er a brazier in Heaven's clear plain.

I know a dancer, I know a dancer,

Who lifts us toward peace, from this earth that is vain:

Judith the dancer, Judith the dancer,

With foot like the snow, and with step like the rain.

In Praise of Songs that Die

After having read a Great Deal of Good Current Poetry

in the Magazines and Newspapers

Ah, they are passing, passing by,

Wonderful songs, but born to die!

Cries from the infinite human seas,

Waves thrice-winged with harmonies.

Here I stand on a pier in the foam

Seeing the songs to the beach go home,

Dying in sand while the tide flows back,

As it flowed of old in its fated track.

Oh, hurrying tide that will not hear

Your own foam-children dying near:

Is there no refuge-house of song,

No home, no haven where songs belong?

Oh, precious hymns that come and go!

You perish, and I love you so!

Factory Windows are always Broken

Factory windows are always broken.

Somebody's always throwing bricks,

Somebody's always heaving cinders,

Playing ugly Yahoo tricks.

Factory windows are always broken.

Other windows are let alone.

No one throws through the chapel-window

The bitter, snarling, derisive stone.

Factory windows are always broken.

Something or other is going wrong.

Something is rotten -- I think, in Denmark.

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