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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

Little People

By Charles de Kay (1848–1935)

[From Hesperus, and Other Poems. 1880.]

I STOLE so gently on their dance,

Their pygmy dance in red sunrise,

I caught the warm and tender glance

Each gallant gave his dear one’s eyes.

Wee ladies clad in fine bat’s-wing

With plumèd lordlings stamp the heel;

Behind them swords and fans they fling

And foot it blithely down the reel.

They sighed and ogled, whispered, kissed

In meetings of the swaying dance—

Then fled not, but were swiftly missed,

Like love from out a well-known glance.

I sprang: the flashing swords were grown

Mere blossom-stalks from tulips tossed;

The fans that sparkled on the stone

Were turned to sprays of glittering frost.