To a Young Dancing Girl

Golden-eyed girl, do you see what I see?
Do you see behind the veil that Life
           laughs through?
Golden-eyed girl, I would like to laugh
           with you.
But my veil is torn, and I see things pass
Like shadows in the depths of a crystal glass.

Golden-eyed girl, you are young as springtime,
Your great eyes are dreamful, your rare
           lips sweet.
Shadows matter little to youth with dancing feet
All of Life’s skeletons wear gay dresses
And youth is deceived by even Death’s caresses.

Golden-eyed girl, you have years to dance and
Before your Life’s curtain will wear into holes
And let you see the hopelessness hidden in souls.
You have many moons of laughter, many
           years to go
Before you’ll learn how heavy dancing feet
           can grow.


From On a Grey Thread (Will Ransom, 1923) by Elsa Gidlow. This poem is in the public domain.