new zealand electronic poetry centre

 

Robin Hyde


Persephone in Winter
 

Hymn to Io
 
 
Io the Giver, send us rain,
Not the fair maid of the freshet face,c But rain of plumage, of torch and spear,
Marching down to the council-place,
Rain as the runner who holds the race.
All that is rife and flagrant and hot,
All that is heavy and hard of birth
Streaming forth from the unsealed womb,
Streaming rank from the sides of earth.

Io the Giver, Io the Breath,
Be in our nostril the death of Death!

Half of her brown flank turned to the sun,
Half made tall by columns of rain,
Over her plains the waterspouts wheel,
Over her crashes the giant grain.
(This be my portent, O thunder-rain!)
Rain that is massy and bound in sheaves,
Rain as the veil on a flowing face,
Rain made large on her sky like leaves
Breasts its way to the council-place.

Io the Giver, Io the Breath,
Be in our nostril the death of Death!


 
 
 


Comments
Last updated 17 September, 2003