new zealand electronic poetry centre


Robin Hyde

Persephone in Winter

The Awakener

But rain slides round us now, a fine grey cloud
Like the wraith castle in a fairy tale,
Sheltering those hearts that could not quite prevail
With the bold gules and azure, painted proud
On earth’s sure banners. Come, then, let me say
My hidden truth. I shall not speak aloud,
This will be but a fountain, hidden away
In plaited leaves; a violet dusk its shroud.

Each friendliness of yours, each chance-said word
Sings in my heart, as in some loneliest tree
Over and over, the shining threnody
Of few clear notes haunts the enchanted bird.
"Thus his lips spoke . . . and thus his look foretold,"
Echo the little under-tones, scarce heard.
Ah, white the lissome boughs of dreaming, stirred
Towards blossom, to a fruit of fairy gold.

It is slight enough; slight as the touch of rain,
Slight as the gold kiss troubling Danae’s sleep.
I think no rain of Heaven could pierce as deep,
Stirring the coiled blind roots of hope and pain.
Yet at your look, the thwarted petals rise,
Chalices where the moonrise finds no stain.
Yet word of yours can sway the rose again,
In the forgotten garden of my eyes.


Last updated 24 September, 2003