new zealand electronic poetry centre


Robin Hyde

Persephone in Winter

Graven on Excalibur
Ah leave the strife, thou not at home with anger,
And leave the gains to them that count their winnings;
Our labour here’s but text for new beginnings,
And the worst foeman now is next road’s stranger.

Leave the dark self that stumbling in the mind
Strikes from old flint resentment sparks of malice,
But fare where dusk’s the cloth for eyes grown blind,
The welling stars for bitter lips a chalice.

Take on steel surface the full splintering shock
Of this world’s impact. With unlessened face
Bear then thy dead to that dark inward place
Where wrests the rill of healing from the rock.

Serve with a high heart, rule with humble hands,
Possess nor envy none, frame thy fit laws
That none afraid, indwelling on thy lands,
May court the dragon Hatred for his claws.

So shalt thou learn what’s silenced in the calls
Of the Now traffic; so shalt taste and touch
By more than sense, being’s white waterfalls
Of thought and movement; shalt flow on with such,

Drop among millions, mingle in the stream,
And lord of lakes, preside above the rest;
Bear the blue lacing rainbows of a dream
And navies wrought of iron on thy breast.

And the shelved crystal coverts of the air
Opening and sealing over destined wings
Shall be less sure than thou set free from fear,
Less high than thou, above the earthbound Kings.


Last updated 24 September, 2003