Giselle

Carlotta Grisi in the title role of the ballet Giselle (1841)

Yes, yes! In blind and tender passion
Live out your pain, burn out your fire,
And, like a letter, rend your heart,
Take leave of reason, and expire.

And then? The gravestone over you
Again you’ll have to move away,
Again you’ll love, and twitch your leg
Across the azure, moonlit stage.

Vladislav Khodasevich
Russia, 1922

Illustration: Carlotta Grisi in the title role of the ballet Giselle (1841)

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