The Bird of Time/Songs of Love and Death/The Dance of Love

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The Dance of Love
Written for Madame Liza Lehmann

 
The music sighs and slumbers,
It stirs and sleeps again . . .
Hush, it wakes and weeps and murmurs
Like a woman's heart in pain;
Now it laughs and calls and coaxes,
Like a lover in the night,
Now it pants with sudden longing,
Now it sobs with spent delight.

Like bright and wind-blown lilies,
The dancers sway and shine,
Swift in a rhythmic circle,
Soft in a rhythmic line;
Their lithe limbs gleam like amber

Thro' their veils of golden gauze,
As they glide and bend and beckon,
As they wheel and wind and pause.

The voices of lutes and cymbals
Fail on the failing breeze,
And the midnight's soul grows weary
With the scent of the champak trees;
But the subtle feet of the dancers
In a long, returning chain,
Wake in the heart of lovers
Love's ecstasy and pain.