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Percy Mackaye


Percy Mackaye (1875-1956), American poet.


A poem inspired by the the girls of the Duncan school when they had to move to New York fleeing the war, written in New York in 1914.



The Child-Dancers


A bomb has fallen over Notre Dame:


Germans have burned another Belgian town:


Russians quelled in the east: England in qualm:


I closed my eyes, and laid the paper down.


Gray ledge and moor-grass and pale bloom of light


By pale blue seas!


What laughter of a child world-sprite,


Sweet as the horns of lone October bees,


Shrills the faint shore with mellow, old delight?


What elves are these


In smocks gray-blue as sea and ledge,


Dancing upon the silvered edge


Of darkness - each ecstatic one


Making a happy orison,


With shining limbs, to the low-sunken sun?


See: now they cease


Like nesting birds from flight:


Demure and debonair


They troop beside their hostess' chair


To make their bedtime courtesies:


"Spokoinoi notchi! - Gute Nacht!


Bon soir! Bon soir! - Good night"


What far-gleamed lives are these


Linked in one holy family of art? --


Dreams, dreams once Christ and Plato dreamed:


How fair their happy shades depart!


Dear God! how simple it a


Till once again


Before my eyes the red type quivered: Slain:


Ten Thousand of the enemy. -


The laughter! laughter from the ancient sea


Sang in the gloaming: "Athens! Galilee!"


And elfin voices called from the extinguished light: -


"Spokoinoi notchi! Gute Nacht!


Bon soir! Bon soir! - Good night!"





Friday the 23rd. . Isadora Duncan Pundect
Copyright 2014