new zealand electronic poetry centre


Robin Hyde

Persephone in Winter

Here on the rock that is yielded to no dominion
But lies folded darkly over the precipice
I shall plant my flag of truth, like the steel pinion
Caught by the striving spirit of the abyss

When the roc clanged by, from being into fable,
And the gates of the valley crashed behind her flying.
They will say, "It was," the knights of the earth’s Round Table,
At their ease in miniver and scarlet lying,

With wine at their elbows, with lilies hollow and frail
Like the white drops of music spilled from a dreamer’s psalter.
But the lilies no more are the light of their hidden altar
Nor the red in their flagons a pledge to the unsought Grail.

Here then on the crag I shall wait till Time’s obstinate
Truths glimmer from quicklime; until the unicorn
Prowls from the forest, the jewel clear in his horn,
And the satyr in blazing sunlight seizes his mate.


Last updated 24 September, 2003