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Stedman and Hutchinson, comps. A Library of American Literature:
An Anthology in Eleven Volumes. 1891.
Vols. IX–XI: Literature of the Republic, Part IV., 1861–1889

A Dancing Girl

By Frances Sargent Osgood (1811–1850)

[Born in Boston, Mass., 1811. Died in Hingham, Mass., 1850. From Poems. Illustrated Edition. 1850.]

SHE comes—the spirit of the dance!

And but for those large, eloquent eyes,

Where passion speaks in every glance,

She’d seem a wanderer from the skies.

So light that, gazing breathless there,

Lest the celestial dream should go,

You’d think the music in the air

Waved the fair vision to and fro!

Or that the melody’s sweet flow

Within the radiant creature played,

And those soft wreathing arms of snow

And white sylph feet the music made.

Now gliding slow with dreamy grace,

Her eyes beneath their lashes lost,

Now motionless, with lifted face,

And small hands on her bosom crossed.

And now with flashing eyes she springs—

Her whole bright figure raised in air,

As if her soul had spread its wings

And poised her one wild instant there!

She spoke not; but, so richly fraught

With language are her glance and smile,

That, when the curtain fell, I thought

She had been talking all the while.