As in the hand a match glows, swiftly white
before it bursts in flame and to all sides
licks its quivering tongues:
within the ring of spectators
her wheeling dance is bright,
nimble, and fervid, twitches and grows wide.
And suddenly is made of pure fire.
Now her glances kindle the dark hair;
she twirls the floating skirt
with daring art into a whirlwind
of consuming flame,
from which her naked arms alertly strike,
clattering like fearful rattlesnakes.
Then, as the fire presses her too closely,
imperiously she clutches it and throws it
with haughty gestures to the floor and watches
it rage and leap with flames
that will not die - until, victorious,
surely, with a sweet greeting smile,
and holding her head high,
she tramples it to death with small,
Rainer Maria RILKE-The Spanish Dancer