The Vestal

The Vestal

Original Text

The Conquerors and Other Poems (London: Macmillan, 1935): 35.

2Spent by their little lusts of pride of gain,
3Sudden, like slim blue slivers of spring rain,
4Falls down the dusk ... and it is well with day.
5All the hard voices die, a thousand birds
6Weave tenderness again in simple words,
8One great bronze hill, raised up for weary eyes.
9Now there is silence in bewildered places,
10And secrets move once more through empty faces
11As through the groves where a clear moon may rise
12To claim once more her maiden sacrifice --
14Stands with the leaves of youth about her head --
15And awe is in the eyes that down the glade
16Watch her move forward, taut and unafraid.


1] Vestal: one of four (later six) virgins consecrated to Vesta, the ancient Roman goddess of the hearth. The virgins tended Vesta's sacred fire and were obligated to chastity during their tenure. Back to Line
7] couchant: (of an animal): lying with the body resting on the legs and the head raised. Back to Line
13] begarlanded: wearing a garland. Back to Line
Publication Start Year
Publication Notes

Christchurch Sun, January 13, 1928.

RPO poem Editors
Cameron La Follette
RPO Edition