Viennese Waltz

Dresden china shepherdesses
Whirl in the silver sunshine:
Columbine stars
Float in gauze petticoats of light…

Little Columbine ghosts, wrinkled and old,
Smelling of jasmine and camphor;
Prim arms folded over immaculate breasts…

The pirouetting tune dies…
Stars and little faded faces,
Waltzing, waltzing,
Shoot slowing downward
on tinkling music,
Dusty little flowers,
Sinking into oblivion…

After the music,
The glacial period renewed,
Monsters on earth,
A mad conflagration of worlds on ardent nights…

These too vanishing…
Silence unending.

This poem is in the public domain, and originally appeared in Others for 1919; An Anthology of the New Verse (Nicholas L. Brown, 1920).