new zealand electronic poetry centre

Ursula Bethell

online works


Spring Storm

All night in the darkness the Furies, the Furies
    Shrieked on the southwind and wailed in the rain,
    Inciting to tumult gales pelting sharp hail
        From mighty catapult;
But deep in obscurity earth slept the surer.

At daybreak the storm stayed. Had the dark ones, weary
    Of ruthless pursuit, their harsh screaming hushed?
    Or nightwards, hard on their quarry, outrun our dusk?
        Piercing through mist,
One kiss of the fierce sun waked young Primavera.

She arose; with a hand-twist wrung out her tresses,
    Her long yellow tresses; flung naked her young limbs,
    Her willowy, white limbs, merrily running
        And tripping light;
Her burnished hair, tossing, dressed and undressed her.

She laughed as she crossed the wide lowlands over,
    Scattering rainbows stolen from swift rains;
    They lay, starry prisms, strown on the vast plain
        And mountains afar;
We saw them this spring day; for so is October.


From Time and Place (Caxton, 1936)


Last updated 10 April, 2005