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A Maiden lies in her chamber



A MAIDEN lies in her chamber
  Lit by a trembling moon;
Outside there rises and echoes
  A waltz’s giddy tune.
“I wonder who breaks my slumber;
  I’ll go to the window and see-”
And lo, a skeleton stands there;
  He fiddles and sings with glee:
“A dance you swore to give me,
  And you have broken your vow;
To-night there’s a ball in the churchyard;
  Come out and dance with me now!”
The maid, as though moved by magic,
  Obeys, and she leaves the house;
The skeleton, fiddling and singing,
  Goes on with its wild carouse.
It fiddles and leaps and dances
  And rattles its bones to the tune;
Its skull keeps nodding and nodding
  Crazily under the moon.

             Heinrich Heine

Dance Poetry
A comprehensive anthology
Edited by Alkis Raftis
Copyright 2012