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Famous Dance Poems by Famous Poets

These are examples of famous Dance poems written by some of the greatest and most-well-known modern and classical poets. PoetrySoup is a great educational poetry resource of famous dance poems. These examples illustrate what a famous dance poem looks like and its form, scheme, or style (where appropriate).

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by Crowley, Aleister
...lcony that August night,
And conjuring the aright and the averse
Created yet another universe.

We worked together; dance and rite and spell
Arousing heaven and constraining hell.
We lived together; every hour of rest
Was honied from your tiger-lily breast.
We --- oh what lingering doubt or fear betrayed
My life to fate! --- we parted. Was I afraid?
I was afraid, afraid to live my love,
Afraid you played the serpent, I the dove,
Afraid of what I know not. ...Read More



by Dickinson, Emily
...
And the sermon is never long,
So instead of getting to Heaven, at last—
I'm going, all along.

326

I cannot dance upon my Toes—
No Man instructed me—
But oftentimes, among my mind,
A Glee possesseth me,

That had I Ballet knowledge—
Would put itself abroad
In Pirouette to blanch a Troupe—
Or lay a Prima, mad,

And though I had no Gown of Gauze—
No Ringlet, to my Hair,
Nor hopped to Audiences—like Birds,
One Claw upon the Air,

Nor tossed my shape in...Read More

by Hughes, Langston
...To fling my arms wide
In some place of the sun,
To whirl and to dance
Till the white day is done.
Then rest at cool evening
Beneath a tall tree
While night comes on gently,
 Dark like me-
That is my dream!

To fling my arms wide
In the face of the sun,
Dance! Whirl! Whirl!
Till the quick day is done.
Rest at pale evening...
A tall, slim tree...
Night coming tenderly
 Black like me....Read More

by Longfellow, Henry Wadsworth
...eir dwellings were open as day and the hearts of their owners;
There the richest was poor, and the poorest lived in abundance.

Somewhat apart from the village, and nearer the Basin of Minas,
Benedict Bellefontaine, the wealthiest farmer of Grand-Pre,
Dwelt on his goodly acres: and with him, directing his household,
Gentle Evangeline lived, his child, and the pride of the village.
Stalworth and stately in form was the man of seventy winters;
Hearty and hale was he, an...Read More

by Carroll, Lewis
...ancient City, stricken down
With a strange frenzy, and for many a day
They paced from morn to eve the crowded town,
And danced the night away. 

I asked the cause: the aged man grew sad:
They pointed to a building gray and tall,
And hoarsely answered "Step inside, my lad,
And then you'll see it all." 


Yet what are all such gaieties to me
Whose thoughts are full of indices and surds? 

x*x + 7x + 53 = 11/3 

But something whispered "It will soon be done:
Bands cannot...Read More



by Wilde, Oscar
...vening, and the suns
Stay longer with us; ah! how good to see
Grass-girdled spring in all her joy of laughing greenery

Dance through the hedges till the early rose,
(That sweet repentance of the thorny briar!)
Burst from its sheathed emerald and disclose
The little quivering disk of golden fire
Which the bees know so well, for with it come
Pale boy's-love, sops-in-wine, and daffadillies all in bloom.

Then up and down the field the sower goes,
While close behind the laug...Read More

by Wordsworth, William
...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 ...Read More

by Byron, George (Lord)
...h the rest. 
The long carousal shakes the illumined hall, 
Well speeds alike the banquet and the ball; 
And the gay dance of bounding Beauty's train 
Links grace and harmony in happiest chain: 
Blest are the early hearts and gentle hands 
That mingle there in well according bands; 
It is a sight the careful brow might smooth, 
And make Age smile, and dream itself to youth, 
And Youth forget such hour was pass'd on earth, 
So springs the exulting bosom to that mirth! 

XXI...Read More

by Keats, John
...t of vintage! that hath been 
Cool'd a long age in the deep-delv¨¨d earth, 
Tasting of Flora and the country-green, 
Dance, and Proven?al song, and sunburnt mirth! 
O for a beaker full of the warm South! 15 
Full of the true, the blushful Hippocrene, 
With beaded bubbles winking at the brim, 
And purple-stain¨¨d mouth; 
That I might drink, and leave the world unseen, 
And with thee fade away into the forest dim: 20 

Fade far away, dissolve, and quite forget 
What...Read More

by Milton, John
...flyest, 
With the fixed Stars, fixed in their orb that flies; 
And ye five other wandering Fires, that move 
In mystick dance not without song, resound 
His praise, who out of darkness called up light. 
Air, and ye Elements, the eldest birth 
Of Nature's womb, that in quaternion run 
Perpetual circle, multiform; and mix 
And nourish all things; let your ceaseless change 
Vary to our great Maker still new praise. 
Ye Mists and Exhalations, that now rise 
From hill or s...Read More

by Whitman, Walt
...of the glad, light-beaming day—joy of the wide-breath’d games?
Joy of sweet music—joy of the lighted ball-room, and the dancers? 
Joy of the friendly, plenteous dinner—the strong carouse, and drinking? 

15
Yet, O my soul supreme! 
Know’st thou the joys of pensive thought? 
Joys of the free and lonesome heart—the tender, gloomy heart?
Joy of the solitary walk—the spirit bowed yet proud—the suffering and the
 struggle? 
The agonistic throes, the extasies—joys of the solemn mus...Read More

by Whitman, Walt
...inch, nor a particle of an inch, is vile, and none shall be less familiar
 than the rest.

I am satisfied—I see, dance, laugh, sing: 
As the hugging and loving Bed-fellow sleeps at my side through the night, and
 withdraws at the peep of the day, with stealthy tread, 
Leaving me baskets cover’d with white towels, swelling the house with their
 plenty, 
Shall I postpone my acceptation and realization, and scream at my eyes, 
That they turn from gazing after and do...Read More

by Angelou, Maya
...ur hatefulness,
But still, like air, I'll rise.

Does my sexiness upset you?
Does it come as a surprise
That I dance like I've got diamonds
At the meeting of my thighs?

Out of the huts of history's shame
I rise
Up from a past that's rooted in pain
I rise
I'm a black ocean, leaping and wide,
Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.
Leaving behind nights of terror and fear
I rise
Into a daybreak that's wondrously clear
I rise
Bringing the gifts that m...Read More

by Baudelaire, Charles
...paint, or scent, 
When Horror comes the way that Beauty went. 

O irresistible, with fleshless face, 
Say to these dancers in their dazzled race: 
"Proud lovers with the paint above your bones, 
Ye shall taste death, musk scented skeletons! 

Withered Antino?s, dandies with plump faces, 
Ye varnished cadavers, and grey Lovelaces, 
Ye go to lands unknown and void of breath, 
Drawn by the rumour of the Dance of Death. 

From Seine's cold quays to Ganges' burning stream...Read More

by Wordsworth, William
...e relent, and can no more endure  To be a jarring and a dissonant thing,  Amid this general dance and minstrelsy;  But, bursting into tears, wins back his way,  His angry spirit healed and harmonized  By the benignant touch of love and beauty. SIMON LEE, THE OLD HUNTSMAN,   With an incident in which he was concerned.   In the sweet shire of Cardi...Read More

by Bridges, Robert Seymour
...tured truth and peaceful form,
Wing'd with bright music and melodious song,--
The flaming flowers of heaven, making May-dance
In dear Imagination's rich pleasance. 

20
The world still goeth about to shew and hide,
Befool'd of all opinion, fond of fame:
But he that can do well taketh no pride,
And see'th his error, undisturb'd by shame:
So poor's the best that longest life can do,
The most so little, diligently done;
So mighty is the beauty that doth woo,
So vast the joy ...Read More

by Scott, Sir Walter
...
     Then silent be no more! Enchantress, wake again!
     I.

     The stag at eve had drunk his fill,
     Where danced the moon on Monan's rill,
     And deep his midnight lair had made
     In lone Glenartney's hazel shade;
     But when the sun his beacon red
     Had kindled on Benvoirlich's head,
     The deep-mouthed bloodhound's heavy bay
     Resounded up the rocky way,
     And faint, from farther distance borne,
     Were heard the clanging hoof and h...Read More

by Tennyson, Alfred Lord
...ain of the moment, playing, now 
A twisted snake, and now a rain of pearls, 
Or steep-up spout whereon the gilded ball 
Danced like a wisp: and somewhat lower down 
A man with knobs and wires and vials fired 
A cannon: Echo answered in her sleep 
From hollow fields: and here were telescopes 
For azure views; and there a group of girls 
In circle waited, whom the electric shock 
Dislinked with shrieks and laughter: round the lake 
A little clock-work steamer paddling plied 
An...Read More

by Shelley, Percy Bysshe
...bent a dun & faint etherial gloom
Tempering the light; upon the chariot's beam
A Janus-visaged Shadow did assume
The guidance of that wonder-winged team.
The Shapes which drew it in thick lightnings
Were lost: I heard alone on the air's soft stream
The music of their ever moving wings.
All the four faces of that charioteer
Had their eyes banded . . . little profit brings
Speed in the van & blindness in the rear,
Nor then avail the beams that quench the Sun...Read More

by Shelley, Percy Bysshe
...crags glowed in her beauty's glance:
Through the green splendour of the water deep
She saw the constellations reel and dance
Like fireflies--and withal did ever keep
The tenor of her contemplations calm,
With open eyes, closed feet, and folded palm.

And, when the whirlwinds and the clouds descended
From the white pinnacles of that cold hill,
She passed at dewfall to a space extended,
Where, in a lawn of flowering asphodel
Amid a wood of pines and cedars blended,
There y...Read More

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