Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, DEIRDRE DANCING, by HERBERT TRENCH



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DEIRDRE DANCING, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Wilt thou not dance, daughter of heaven, today
Last Line: And ridden from the breaking of the dawn.
Subject(s): Dancing & Dancers


Naois. "Wilt thou not dance, daughter of heaven, to-day
Free, at last free? For here no moody raindrop
Can reach thee, nor betrayer overpeer;
And none the self-delightful measure hear
That thy soul moves to, quit of mortal ear."

Full loth she pleads, yet cannot him resist
And on the enmossed lights begins to dance.
Away, away, far-floating like a mist,
To fade into some leafy brilliance;
Then, smiling to the inward melodist,
Over the printless turf with slow advance
Of showery footsteps, makes she infinite
That crowded glen. But quick, possess'd by strange
Rapture, wider than dreams her motions range
Till to a span the forests shrink and change.

And in her eyes and glimmering arms she brings
Hither all promise,--all the unlook'd-for boon
Of rainbow'd life--all rare and speechless things
That shine and swell under the brimming Moon.
Who shall pluck tympans? For what need of strings
To waft her blood who is herself the tune--
Herself the warm and breathing melody?
Art comes from the Land of Ever-Young? O stay!
For his heart, after thee rising away,
Falls dark and spirit-faint back to the clay.

Griefs, like the yellow leaves by winter curl'd,
Rise after her--long buried pangs arouse--
About that bosom the grey forests whirl'd,
And tempests with her beauty might espouse,--
She rose with the green waters of the world
And the winds heaved with her their depth of boughs.
Then vague again as blows the beanfield's odour
On the dark lap of air she chose to sink,
As, winnowing with plumes, to the river-bank
The pigeons from the cliff came down to drink.

Sudden distraught, shading her eyes, she ceased,
Listening, like bride whom cunning faery strain
Forth from the trumpet-bruited spousal feast
Steals. But she beckon'd soon, and quick, with pain,
He ran, he craved at those white feet the least
Pardon; nor, till he felt her hand again,
Descend flake-soft, durst spy that she was weeping
Or kneel with burning murmurs to atone.
For sleep she wept. Long fasting had they gone
And ridden from the breaking of the dawn.





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