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There are perils dire... (excerpt)



                                                ...There are perils dire,

Which oft beset the Ballet Girl, and worst of all is- ‘Fire !

Most deadly of the deadly foes that threaten player folk,

An enemy who never sleeps, whose power ne’er is broke,

While of the groups Theatrical, the greatest risk who run

Are lightly-costumed ‘Ballerinas’-Escape for them there’s


A spark upon the muslin dry, then instantly it lights

Into a flame, like lightning’s flash, at sea, on summer nights,

A blazing mass of agony, all maddened, quick they fly,

Yet fly not from the enemy who dooms them thus to die,

That shrivels up the glowing limbs, and face and form, alas !

Leaving of female loveliness a charred and calcined mass.

Ah, happy if they die at once, and from Life’s stage retire,

Than linger on in torment from the all-remorseless fire.



Dance Poetry
A comprehensive anthology
Edited by Alkis Raftis
Copyright 2012