The ballerina’s arms uncurl;
Each finger flexes in the glove;
She rises up while cylinders whirl,
Swift and exact: a clockwork love.
Gracefully the cogs impart
Blushing glances, smiling eyes,
And we delight in her disguise —
To think alive horology’s art.
Automaton, so lithe, so fresh,
You dance defiance of the scythe;
We see in your inviolate flesh
The resurrection and the life.
Exquisite linkage, wheels and chains,
She falters when our senses slow,
And imperceptibly we go
With smaller steps to fainter strains.
One day the doll will wobble and swing;
The head will droop, the pendulum sway,
But dazzled by the sheer array —
The sheer array of riotous things —
No one will see the slackening spring.
Where is the key, the end designed,
Oh sweet clock beckoning;
How can automata rewind
Their hour of reckoning?