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Lord of the Dance


I danced in the morning

  when the world was begun,

And I dance in the moon

  and the stars and the sun,

And I came down from heaven

  and I danced on the earth;

At Bethlehem

  I had my birth:

Dance, them, wherever you may be;

I am the Lord of the Dance, said he,

And I’ll lead you all, wherever you

may be,

And I’ll lead you all in the dance,

said he.

I danced for the scribe

  and the pharisee,

But they would not dance

  and they wouldn’t follow me;

I danced for the fishermen,

  for James and John;

They came with me

  and the dance went on:

I danced on the Sabbah

  and I cured the lame:

The holy people

  said it was a shame.

They whipped and they stripped

  and they hung me high,

And they left me there

  on a cross to die:

I danced on a Friday

  when the sky turned black;

It’s hard to dance

  with the devil on your back.

They buried my body

  and they thought I’d gone;

But I am the dance

  and I still go on:

They cut me down

  and I leap up high;

I am the life

  that’ll never, never die;

I’ll live in you

  if you’ll live in me:

I am the Lord

  of the Dance, said he:


Sydney Carter

Dance Poetry
A comprehensive anthology
Edited by Alkis Raftis
Copyright 2012