new zealand electronic poetry centre


Robin Hyde

Persephone in Winter

Death’s in this sting. Strange that so many times
I have stood by such a lattice unafraid
And watched the thin moon, like a silver rind,
Pared in deep skies — I but a little maid.
But now my hours are sounded out like chimes,
Never again shall bed of mine be warm.
The seconds darken round me, like a swarm
Of bees, that steal my nectar quite away;
I am glad some flowers have nodded in my day.

Nay, Queen and playfellow, I ask your pardon,
I am a little slow in following you
Into the tangled mazes, the wise blue
Cypresses stoop’t like sorcerers round this garden.
I had a mother once, but I grew tall,
Wayward and brown. Methinks, too, there was one
Whose kisses ripened in the noonday sun
Your servant’s lips — but there, what matters all?
Our little time of play and dreaming done,
Into the spangled grass let the fruit fall.
I am tired; our resting is not far to seek.
I feel your slim hand cooler on my cheek.


Last updated 23 September, 2003