new zealand electronic poetry centre


Robin Hyde

Persephone in Winter

Persephone in Winter
Persephone in winter-time
Lay still, nor gave a thought
To the fierce surging tides of flowers
Her restless youth had brought.
Trapped beyond touch of pain or sorrow,
Gaoled in high walls of aquamarine,
Her blue eyes veiled from any morrow,
She slumbered . . . Pluto’s queen.

The sharp-toothed conies burrowed down
To find the jonquil maiden
Seen dancing through their hillocked town
Her bare arms blossom-laden;
With frightened eyes, the seekers crept
To nibbled grass again,
Telling of how the Ivory slept,
Too still, too chill for men.

Only the snake, whose thought strikes cold
From ancient jewelled eyes,
In rings of mottled green and gold
Slips round her girdle-wise.
Only the stealthy lute-string sound
Of hesitant waters underground,
Only the ice-blue water-drips
Are secret as her lips.


Last updated 21 September, 2003