new zealand electronic poetry centre


Robin Hyde

Persephone in Winter


We who grew tall go stumbling, blind and angered,
Dazed with the sting and swarming of the hive.
Bluecap serenely leads his troops at mountains,
Bluecap smiles down the fiercest eyes alive.
Bluecap is half-past-five.

Bluecapís toy sword is grave and bright, not eager
For bloodshed. Bluecap loves the courteous foe.
The rules of battle summon each to combat
Armed cap-à-pie with Redskin plumes and bow . . .
Wars are waged better so.

And though he win the world this afternoon
Or lose a crown to-morrow, the intent
Of Lifeís large humours is most kindly to him,
The fairy horses clatter past his tent
For frolic, not for punishment.

Godís little horses, Godís secure brown castle
Hid in the gorse, and snugly thatched with fern,
Love him so well. Salvoes of seeds salute him
From popping pods. The grasses smile, in turn
Caress and tease him. No one whispers here,
"Bluecap has life to learn."

Fear not that from the tawny screen of willows
Fate may peer forth, and slay him with her look.
Time is only the ripple of the summerís grasses,
Death is only the mayfly on the summerís brook,
Hate is only a tale . . . a tale in Bluecapís book.


Last updated 24 September, 2003