She drove me to her parlor

Above her winding stair.

To educate young spiders

She took me all apart.

My ghost came back to haunt her.

I saw her eat my heart.

VII. Crickets on a Strike

The foolish queen of fairyland

From her milk-white throne in a lily-bell,

Gave command to her cricket-band

To play for her when the dew-drops fell.

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!

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