Original Text

Persephone in Winter (London: Hurst and Blackett, 1937): 120.

1But rain slides round us now, a fine grey cloud
2Like the wraith castle in a fairy tale,
3Sheltering those hearts that could not quite prevail
5On earth's sure banners. Come, then, let me say
6My hidden truth. I shall not speak aloud,
7This will be but a fountain, hidden away
8In plaited leaves; a violet dusk its shroud.
9Each friendliness of yours, each chance-said word
10Sings in my heart, as in some loneliest tree
12Of few clear notes haunts the enchanted bird.
13"Thus his lips spoke ... and thus his look foretold,"
14Echo the little under-tones, scarce heard.
15Ah, white the lissome boughs of dreaming, stirred
16Towards blossom, to a fruit of fairy gold.
17It is slight enough; slight as the touch of rain,
19I think no rain of Heaven could pierce as deep,
20Stirring the coiled blind roots of hope and pain.
21Yet at your look, the thwarted petals rise,
22Chalices where the moonrise finds no stain.
23Yet word of yours can sway the rose again,
24In the forgotten garden of my eyes.


4] gules: the color red, a term used primarily in heraldry. Back to Line
11] threnody: lament. Back to Line
18] Danae: in ancient Greek tradition, the daughter of King Acrisius of Argos, who imprisoned her in a bronze chamber underground to thwart a prophecy that her son would kill him. The sky god Zeus visited Danae in a shower of gold, and she conceived her son Persus from this union. Back to Line
Publication Start Year
RPO poem Editors
Cameron La Follette
RPO Edition