new zealand electronic poetry centre

 

Robin Hyde


Persephone in Winter
 

Prayer of a Woman
 
 
She lay so still,
In the heavy-seeded grass,
Broken off, like cherry-branches
Where the gay spoilers pass;

Praying not to God Hermes
Of the white timeless head;
To the little god of gardens
With his wreathed pipes of lead;

To the owl-light’s tall lady
Walking stilled and apart —
But to some god blind and silent
In a locked human heart;

Saying through the raindrop voices
Of the untormented birds,
"Father, Master, free me
From necessity of words.

"Watch the flowers sing about me,
Blue, golden, green as flames.
Lord, though I see them,
Let me know not their names.

"When their music chimes o’er me,
Bid that no echo lingers.
Set not so frail pattern
Under stiff human fingers.

"An Thou ask me for beauty,
God of sunlight and birds,
Limb and breast shall obey Thee —
But seek not for words."

She lay so still
In the heavy-seeded grass,
Watching clouds, a white cotillion,
Glitter and pass.

  
 


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Last updated 21 September, 2003