The Poetry Corner

The Dance

By Paul Laurence Dunbar

Heel and toe, heel and toe, That is the song we sing; Turn to your partner and curtsey low, Balance and forward and swing. Corners are draughty and meadows are white, This is the game for a winter's night. Hands around, hands around, Trip it, and not too slow; Clear is the fiddle and sweet its sound, Keep the girls' cheeks aglow. Still let your movements be dainty and light, This is the game for a winter's night. Back to back, back to back, Turn to your place again; Never let lightness nor nimbleness lack, Either in maidens or men. Time hasteth ever, beware of its flight, Oh, what a game for a winter's night! Slower now, slower now, Softer the music sighs; Look, there are beads on your partner's brow Though there be light in her eyes. Lead her away and her grace requite, So goes the game on a winter's night.