new zealand electronic poetry centre


Robin Hyde

Persephone in Winter

The Fallow Land
Now I shall be the fallow land,
Withholden let me lie,
Secret from seedings of the year,
From nurture of the sky.

Who eats the wind has hungry heart,
Who eats the sun has bread.
But he that is not given to plough
Cares not if stones be fed.

Who drinks the rain has gentle mouth,
Who drinks of fire is dead.
But he with sides unpierced by seed
Cares not what earth be red.

Oh Ruth with autumn hands, with lips
Wistful as spring, and young! ó
Come not to feed with lambent hair
The green cornís licking tongue;

Loose not the loving from your eyes,
The sparrows from your hood,
Whose simple hunger keeps the faith
All scattered grain is good;

Lest for the pallid gleaning girl,
The strange hand, small and chill,
My fallow land fare forth again
To harvest, well or ill.


Last updated 21 September, 2003