new zealand electronic poetry centre


Robin Hyde

Persephone in Winter

At Castor Bay
Stretching her arms
On the low couch that lay
Full in a sun too clear for autumn’s pining
She felt the sea’s blue glitter in the bay
Pulse through her veins, and softly down her throat
The lances wheel, the silken banners float,
As light, across his world of creatures shining,
Subdued her too.
                          Yet still the wroth alarms
Of the shrill days came clamouring at her ears;
Still claim their ancient fee, regrets and fears.
Two musics wooed her — Life, and that more deep.
She thought, "I would lie here in the sun, and sleep,
And not wake more."
                                   But as her eyelids fell
Dream said, "In a thousand years, perhaps that sea
Will glitter so, and down the banquet-hall
Of slender trees, the moon move like a guest
Royal in presence. All the memories, all
The stinging sparks of thought, that writhe and burn,
Be less than ember, fallen in Time’s urn.
You would hate none; the ill ships in the breast
Of the lapsed sense be sunken and find rest,
And on a lonely world your eyes look free,
Taking no thought for judgments or for tears."

She stirred in sleep, and said, "In a thousand years
That which was mine lifts up its gates for me."


Last updated 24 September, 2003