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Poem by James Weldon Johnson


Down by the Carib Sea. 5. The Dancing Girl


Do you know what it is to dance?
Perhaps, you do know, in a fashion;
But by dancing I mean,
Not what's generally seen,
But dancing of fire and passion,
Of fire and delirious passion.

With a dusky-haired _señorita_,
Her dark, misty eyes near your own,
And her scarlet-red mouth,
Like a rose of the south,
The reddest that ever was grown,
So close that you catch
Her quick-panting breath
As across your own face it is blown,
With a sigh, and a moan.

Ah! that is dancing,
As here by the Carib it's known.

Now, whirling and twirling
Like furies we go;
Now, soft and caressing
And sinuously slow;
With an undulating motion,
Like waves on a breeze-kissed ocean:--
And the scarlet-red mouth
Is nearer your own,
And the dark, misty eyes
Still softer have grown.

Ah! that is dancing, that is loving,
As here by the Carib they're known.



James Weldon Johnson


James Weldon Johnson's other poems:
  1. An Explanation
  2. Brer Rabbit, You's de Cutes' of 'Em All
  3. De Little Pickaninny's Gone to Sleep
  4. And the Greatest of These Is War
  5. Sence You Went Away


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