new zealand electronic poetry centre


Robin Hyde

Persephone in Winter

I have had much good from the dusk; much good and ease
From the lamplit street.
For I am one must gather much to his heart
Or ever he find life sweet,
And must walk with many alone, and the thing called strange
Winnow from look and touch,
Ere the fang in my heart be loosed, and the angry thirst
Shall tear not overmuch.
Oh the brown child tossed her hair and laughed as she ran,
As a brook would leap where she trod
But the blinded child blew light as a leaf on winds,
Fated, and known to God.
There was one reeled forth from a tavern, murderous and maimed,
With his lips bright-wet,
And the love in my heart, sprung up at the lust in his glance,
Called to him, "Friend, well met!
Sparrow in palms of the Infinite, sparrow, well met!"
I have seen a man cup fruits in his hollowed hand,
Pomegranate-red and gold;
I have seen the black cars scourging the servile streets
As the chariots lashed of old.
Ah, let me die with their full gaze pressed on my eyes,
With their full weight bent on my door,
With their stake of cities driven into my heart,
That my thirst shall cry no more.



Last updated 24 September, 2003