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Best Famous Dance Poems

Here is a collection of the all-time best famous Dance poems. This is a select list of the best famous Dance poetry. Reading, writing, and enjoying famous Dance poetry (as well as classical and contemporary poems) is a great past time. These top poems are the best examples of dance poems.

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See also: Best Member Poems

by William Wordsworth | |

I Wandered Lonely As A Cloud

I wandered lonely as a cloud 
That floats on high o'er vales and hills, 
When all at once I saw a crowd, 
A host, of golden daffodils; 
Beside the lake, beneath the trees, 
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.
Continuous as the stars that shine And twinkle on the milky way, They stretched in never-ending line Along the margin of a bay: Ten thousand saw I at a glance, Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.
The waves beside them danced; but they Out-did the sparkling waves in glee: A poet could not but be gay, In such a jocund company: I gazed - and gazed - but little thought What wealth the show to me had brought: For oft, when on my couch I lie In vacant or in pensive mood, They flash upon that inward eye Which is the bliss of solitude; And then my heart with pleasure fills, And dances with the daffodils.

by Conrad Aiken | |

The House Of Dust: Part 01: 08: The white fog creeps from the cold sea over the city

 The white fog creeps from the cold sea over the city,
Over the pale grey tumbled towers,—
And settles among the roofs, the pale grey walls.
Along damp sinuous streets it crawls, Curls like a dream among the motionless trees And seems to freeze.
The fog slips ghostlike into a thousand rooms, Whirls over sleeping faces, Spins in an atomy dance round misty street lamps; And blows in cloudy waves over open spaces .
And one from his high window, looking down, Peers at the cloud-white town, And thinks its island towers are like a dream .
It seems an enormous sleeper, within whose brain Laborious shadows revolve and break and gleam.

by G K Chesterton | |

To the Unknown Warrior

 You whom the kings saluted; who refused not
The one great pleasure of ignoble days,
Fame without name and glory without gossip,
Whom no biographer befouls with praise.
Who said of you "Defeated"? In the darkness The dug-out where the limelight never comes, Nor the big drum of Barnum's show can shatter That vibrant stillness after all the drums.
Though the time comes when every Yankee circus Can use our soldiers for its sandwich-men, When those that pay the piper call the tune, You will not dance.
You will not move again.
You will not march for Fatty Arbuckle, Though he have yet a favourable press, Tender as San Francisco to St.
Francis Or all the angels of Los Angeles.
They shall not storm the last unfallen fortress, The lonely castle where uncowed and free, Dwells the unknown and undefeated warrior That did alone defeat Publicity.

by William Henry Davies | |


 What is this life if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.
No time to stand beneath the boughs And stare as long as sheep or cows.
No time to see, when woods we pass, Where squirrels hide their nuts in grass.
No time to see, in broad daylight, Streams full of stars, like skies at night.
No time to turn at Beauty's glance, And watch her feet, how they can dance.
No time to wait till her mouth can Enrich that smile her eyes began.
A poor life this is if, full of care, We have no time to stand and stare.

by William Henry Davies | |

The Best Friend

  Now shall I walk 
Or shall I ride? 
"Ride", Pleasure said; 
"Walk", Joy replied.
Now what shall I -- Stay home or roam? "Roam", Pleasure said; And Joy -- "stay home.
" Now shall I dance, Or sit for dreams? "Sit," answers Joy; "Dance," Pleasure screams.
Which of ye two Will kindest be? Pleasure laughed sweet, But Joy kissed me.

by Stephen Vincent Benet | |

Before an Examination

 The little letters dance across the page, 
Flaunt and retire, and trick the tired eyes; 
Sick of the strain, the glaring light, I rise 
Yawning and stretching, full of empty rage 
At the dull maunderings of a long dead sage, 
Fling up the windows, fling aside his lies; 
Choosing to breathe, not stifle and be wise, 
And let the air pour in upon my cage.
The breeze blows cool and there are stars and stars Beyond the dark, soft masses of the elms That whisper things in windy tones and light.
They seem to wheel for dim, celestial wars; And I -- I hear the clash of silver helms Ring icy-clear from the far deeps of night.

by George William Russell | |

Natural Magic

 WE air tired who follow after
Phantasy and truth that flies:
You with only look and laughter
Stain our hearts with richest dyes.
When you break upon our study Vanish all our frosty cares; As the diamond deep grows ruddy, Filled with morning unawares.
With the stuff that dreams are made of But an empty house we build: Glooms we are ourselves afraid of, By the ancient starlight chilled.
All unwise in thought or duty— Still our wisdom envies you: We who lack the living beauty Half our secret knowledge rue.
Thought nor fear in you nor dreaming Veil the light with mist about; Joy, as through a crystal gleaming, Flashes from the gay heart out.
Pain and penitence forsaking, Hearts like cloisters dim and grey, By your laughter lured, awaking Join with you the dance of day.

by George William Russell | |


 A MAN went forth one day at eve:
The long day’s toil for him was done:
The eye that scanned the page could leave
Its task until tomorrow’s sun.
Upon the threshold where he stood Flared on his tired eyes the sight, Where host on host the multitude Burned fiercely in the dusky night.
The starry lights at play—at play— The giant children of the blue, Heaped scorn upon his trembling clay And with their laughter pierced him through.
They seemed to say in scorn of him “The power we have was once in thee.
King, is thy spirit grown so dim, That thou art slave and we are free?” As out of him the power—the power— The free—the fearless, whirled in play, He knew himself that bitter hour The close of all his royal day.
And from the stars’ exultant dance Within the fiery furnace glow, Exile of all the vast expanse, He turned him homeward sick and slow.

by Friedrich von Schiller | |

Human Knowledge

 Since thou readest in her what thou thyself hast there written,
And, to gladden the eye, placest her wonders in groups;--
Since o'er her boundless expanses thy cords to extend thou art able,
Thou dost think that thy mind wonderful Nature can grasp.
Thus the astronomer draws his figures over the heavens, So that he may with more ease traverse the infinite space, Knitting together e'en suns that by Sirius-distance are parted, Making them join in the swan and in the horns of the bull.
But because the firmament shows him its glorious surface, Can he the spheres' mystic dance therefore decipher aright?

by Friedrich von Schiller | |

Rapture -- To Laura

 From earth I seem to wing my flight,
And sun myself in Heaven's pure light,
When thy sweet gaze meets mine
I dream I quaff ethereal dew,
When my own form I mirrored view
In those blue eyes divine!

Blest notes from Paradise afar,
Or strains from some benignant star
Enchant my ravished ear:
My Muse feels then the shepherd's hour
When silvery tones of magic power
Escape those lips so dear!

Young Loves around thee fan their wings--
Behind, the maddened fir-tree springs,
As when by Orpheus fired:
The poles whirl round with swifter motion,
When in the dance, like waves o'er Ocean,
Thy footsteps float untired!

Thy look, if it but beam with love,
Could make the lifeless marble move,
And hearts in rocks enshrine:
My visions to reality
Will turn, if, Laura, in thine eye
I read--that thou art mine!

by Algernon Charles Swinburne | |

Ben Jonson

 Broad-based, broad-fronted, bounteous, multiform,
With many a valley impleached with ivy and vine,
Wherein the springs of all the streams run wine,
And many a crag full-faced against the storm,
The mountain where thy Muse's feet made warm
Those lawns that reveled with her dance divine
Shines yet with fire as it was wont to shine
From tossing torches round the dance aswarm.
Nor less, high-stationed on the gray grave heights, High-thoughted seers with heaven's heart-kindling lights Hold converse; and the herd of meaner things Knows or by fiery scourge or fiery shaft When wrath on thy broad brows has risen, and laughed, Darkening thy soul with shadow of thunderous wings.

by Mary Darby Robinson | |

To Leonardo

 "Yes, LAURA, yes, pure as the virgin snow's 
"That on the bosom of the whirlwind move,,
"For thee my faithful endless passion glows.
COLD blows the wind upon the mountain's brow; In murmuring cadence wave the leafless woods; The feath'ry tribe mope on the frozen bough, And icy fetters hold the silent floods; But endless spring the POET'S breast shall prove, Whose GENIUS kindles at the torch of LOVE.
For HIM, unfading, blooms the fertile mind, The current of the heart for ever flows; Fearless His bosom braves the wintry wind, While thro' each nerve, eternal summer glows; In vain would chilling apathy controul, The lambent fire that warms the lib'ral soul! To me the limped brook, the painted mead, The crimson dawn, the twilight's purple close; The mirthful dance, the shepherd's tuneful reed, The musky fragrance of the opening rose; To me, alas! all pleasures senseless prove, Save the sweet converse of the FRIEND I love.

by David Herbert Lawrence | |


 Always, sweetheart,
Carry into your room the blossoming boughs of cherry,
Almond and apple and pear diffuse with light, that very
Soon strews itself on the floor; and keep the radiance of spring
Fresh quivering; keep the sunny-swift March-days waiting
In a little throng at your door, and admit the one who is plaiting
Her hair for womanhood, and play awhile with her, then bid her depart.
A come and go of March-day loves Through the flower-vine, trailing screen; A fluttering in of doves.
Then a launch abroad of shrinking doves Over the waste where no hope is seen Of open hands: Dance in and out Small-bosomed girls of the spring of love, With a bubble of laughter, and shrilly shout Of mirth; then the dripping of tears on your glove.

by Rainer Maria Rilke | |

Spanish Dancer

As on all its sides a kitchen-match darts white
flickering tongues before it bursts into flame:
with the audience around her, quickened, hot,
her dance begins to flicker in the dark room.
And all at once it is completely fire.
One upward glance and she ignites her hair and, whirling faster and faster, fans her dress into passionate flames, till it becomes a furnace from which, like startled rattlesnakes, the long naked arms uncoil, aroused and clicking.
And then: as if the fire were too tight around her body, she takes and flings it out haughtily, with an imperious gesture, and watches: it lies raging on the floor, still blazing up, and the flames refuse to die - Till, moving with total confidence and a sweet exultant smile, she looks up finally and stamps it out with powerful small feet.

by Rainer Maria Rilke | |

The Panther

 His vision, from the constantly passing bars,
has grown so weary that it cannot hold
anything else.
It seems to him there are a thousand bars and behind the bars, no world.
As he paces in cramped circles, over and over, the movement of his powerful soft strides is like a ritual dance around a center in which a mighty will stands paralyzed.
Only at times, the curtain of the pupils lifts, quietly—.
An image enters in, rushes down through the tensed, arrested muscles, plunges into the heart and is gone.

by Lucy Maud Montgomery | |

The Wood Pool

 Here is a voice that soundeth low and far
And lyric­voice of wind among the pines,
Where the untroubled, glimmering waters are,
And sunlight seldom shines.
Elusive shadows linger shyly here, And wood-flowers blow, like pale, sweet spirit-bloom, And white, slim birches whisper, mirrored clear In the pool's lucent gloom.
Here Pan might pipe, or wandering dryad kneel To view her loveliness beside the brim, Or laughing wood-nymphs from the byways steal To dance around its rim.
'Tis such a witching spot as might beseem A seeker for young friendship's trysting place, Or lover yielding to the immortal dream Of one beloved face.

by Lucy Maud Montgomery | |

While the Fates Sleep

 Come, let us to the sunways of the west,
Hasten, while crystal dews the rose-cups fill,
Let us dream dreams again in our blithe quest
O'er whispering wold and hill.
Castles of air yon wimpling valleys keep Where milk-white mist steals from the purpling sea, They shall be ours in the moon's wizardry, While the fates, wearied, sleep.
The viewless spirit of the wind will sing In the soft starshine by the reedy mere, The elfin harps of hemlock boughs will ring Fitfully far and near; The fields will yield their trove of spice and musk, And balsam from the glens of pine will fall, Till twilight weaves its tangled shadows all In one dim web of dusk.
Let us put tears and memories away, While the fates sleep time stops for revelry; Let us look, speak, and kiss as if no day Has been or yet will be; Let us make friends with laughter 'neath the moon, With music on the immemorial shore, Yea, let us dance as lovers danced of yore­ The fates will waken soon!

by Lucy Maud Montgomery | |

The Forest Path

 Oh, the charm of idle dreaming
Where the dappled shadows dance,
All the leafy aisles are teeming
With the lure of old romance! 

Down into the forest dipping,
Deep and deeper as we go,
One might fancy dryads slipping
Where the white-stemmed birches grow.
Lurking gnome and freakish fairy In the fern may peep and hide .
Sure their whispers low and airy Ring us in on every side! Saw you where the pines are rocking Nymph's white shoulder as she ran? Lo, that music faint and mocking, Is it not a pipe of Pan? Hear you that elusive laughter Of the hidden waterfall? Nay, a satyr speeding after Ivy-crowned bacchanal.
Far and farther as we wander Sweeter shall our roaming be, Come, for dim and winsome yonder Lies the path to Arcady!

by Lucy Maud Montgomery | |


 Surely the flowers of a hundred springs 
Are simply the souls of beautiful things! 

The poppies aflame with gold and red 
Were the kisses of lovers in days that are fled.
The purple pansies with dew-drops pearled Were the rainbow dreams of a youngling world.
The lily, white as a star apart, Was the first pure prayer of a virgin heart.
The daisies that dance and twinkle so Were the laughter of children in long ago.
The sweetness of all true friendship yet Lives in the breath of the mignonette.
To the white narcissus there must belong The very delight of a maiden's song.
And the rose, all flowers of the earth above, Was a perfect, rapturous thought of love.
Oh! surely the blossoms of all the springs Must be the souls of beautiful things.

by Sharmagne Leland-St John | |


 I swim near summer shadows
glide over dappled shoals
keeping to the fluid shallows
reminiscent of the womb 
where I learned to swallow 
of tantalising air

in the amniotic sac
where I shed scales 
preferring skin and 
hanks of auburn hair
upon my head
where I dispensed 
with fins and gills
grew hands and feet
with which to tread
and push away 
from muddy banks

I've no desire to wallow 
in the rushes

no human need

the thin sharp reeds 
knot and tangle
cut and pierce 
my derma layer

I can dance 
below the surface
upon the rocky sand
I shall dangle near
the river bottom
suspended, floating free
like the embryo 
I used to be.

by Maria Mazziotti Gillan | |

My Daughter at 14 Christmas Dance 1981

 Panic in your face, you write questions
to ask him.
When he arrives, you are serene, your fear unbetrayed.
How unlike me you are.
After the dance, I see your happiness; he holds your hand.
Though you barely speak, your body pulses messages I can read all too well.
He kisses you goodnight, his body moving toward yours, and yours responding.
I am frightened, guard my tongue for fear my mother will pop out of my mouth.
"He is not shy," I say.
You giggle, a little girl again, but you tell me he kissed you on the dance floor.
"Once?" I ask.
"No, a lot.
" We ride through rain-shining 1 a.
I bite back words which long to be said, knowing I must not shatter your moment, fragile as a spun-glass bird, you, the moment, poised on the edge of flight, and I, on the ground, afraid.
Maria Mazziotti Gillan Copyright © 1995

by John Gould Fletcher | |

God Lyaeus

 GOD Lyaeus, ever young,
Ever honour'd, ever sung,
Stain'd with blood of lusty grapes,
In a thousand lusty shapes
Dance upon the mazer's brim,
In the crimson liquor swim;
From thy plenteous hand divine
Let a river run with wine:
 God of youth, let this day here
 Enter neither care nor fear.

by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe | |


 WHEN in the dance of the Nymphs, in the moonlight so holy assembled,

Mingle the Graces, down from Olympus in secret descending,
Here doth the minstrel hide, and list to their numbers enthralling,

Here doth he watch their silent dances' mysterious measure.
All that is glorious in Heaven, and all that the earth in her beauty Ever hath brought into life, the dreamer awake sees before him; All he repeats to the Muses, and lest the gods should be anger'd, How to tell of secrets discreetly, the Muses instruct him.

by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe | |


 ALL things give token of thee!
As soon as the bright sun is shining,
Thou too wilt follow, I trust.
When in the garden thou walk'st, Thou then art the rose of all roses, Lily of lilies as well.
When thou dost move in the dance, Then each constellation moves also; With thee and round thee they move.
Night! oh, what bliss were the night! For then thou o'ershadow'st the lustre, Dazzling and fair, of the moon.
Dazzling and beauteous art thou, And flowers, and moon, and the planets Homage pay, Sun, but to thee.
Sun! to me also be thou Creator of days bright and glorious; Life and Eternity this! 1813.

by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe | |


 OH, unhappy stars! your fate I mourn,

Ye by whom the sea-toss'd sailor's lighted,
Who with radiant beams the heav'ns adorn,

But by gods and men are unrequited:
For ye love not,--ne'er have learnt to love!
Ceaselessly in endless dance ye move,
In the spacious sky your charms displaying,

What far travels ye have hasten'd through,
Since, within my loved one's arms delaying,

I've forgotten you and midnight too!