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The Belle of a Season Extract


Brisk music gayer scenes announces,

And in a half-dressed danseuse bounces,

With arms that wreathe, and eyes that swim,

And drapery that scarce shades each limb,

And lip that wears a studied smile,

Applauding coxcombs to beguile,

As entrechat or pirouette

Doth ‘Brava !’ thundered loud beget.

When Mary saw her vault in air,

Her snow-white tunic leaving bare

Her limbs-and heard the deafening shout

Grow louder as she twirled about,

With one leg pointing towards the sky

As if the gallery to defy;

Surprised, and shocked, she turned away,

Wondering how women e’er could stay,

And thinkiing men must be frantic

Who patronised such postures antic;

She felt abashed to meet the eye

Of every fop that loitered by:

And, oh ! how rudely did it vex

Her fresh, pure heart, to mark her sex

Thus outraged, while the noblest came

To gaze and revel in their shame....


Lady Blessington

Dance Poetry
A comprehensive anthology
Edited by Alkis Raftis
Copyright 2012