Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, A PUBLIC DANCE, by JOHANNA AMBROSIUS

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A PUBLIC DANCE, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Midst a crowd disorderly / walked a dreamer, angels seeking
Last Line: Which every green oasis misses.
Subject(s): Beauty

MIDST a crowd disorderly
Walked a dreamer, angels seeking:
Then in sorrow turned away,
While men ribald oaths were shrieking.

Sadly then his prophet glance,
Soulless void so vacant scanning,
Vainly sought to find a trace
Where God's breath a spark was fanning.

Vapor all! He strove to slip,
From the bestial throng escaping,
Through the gate. A woman sat
Midst the press, her pleasure taking.

Vulgar sensuality
From her saucy glances gazes,
As, with many a coarse jest,
Her cheap oranges she praises;

From the goblet of sweet wine
Often secretly she's tasting,
And her scarlet lips to kiss
All who'll pay, to give she's hasting.

But what's clinging to her breast?
Under dirty rags for cover,
Like the golden sunlight falls
Her child's curls her bosom over.

Downward, upward, and beside
Waves of sin and shame are meeting:
See how pure and free from stain,
In this child, God thee is greeting!

On the brow so lily fair
Sweet innocence doth peace impress,
Such as only saints above
Heaven's blue star-strewn vault can bless.

Slowly now its eyes unclose,
Wondrous azure depths unfolding:
Bend thou lower, then thou canst
Gaze, bliss most divine beholding.

Smiles not a pure Paradise
Midst these pastimes base, infernal?
Where no cherubim prevents
Sating thy soul with joys eternal.

Pool of mire is ne'er so deep
Sunbeam cannot reach with kisses;
Never is there wilderness
Which every green oasis misses.

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