Monday, March 20, 2017

PERSEPHONE, a poem

THE wild bird's first exultant strain
     Says,—"Winter is over—over!"
And spring returns to the world again,
     With breath as of lilac and clover.

With a certain soft, appealing grace
     (Surely some sorrow hath kissed her!)
She gives to our vision her girlish face,
     And we know how we've missed her—missed her!

For on a day she went away,
     Long ere the leaves were falling,
And came no more for the whitethroat's lay,
     Or the pewee's plaintive calling.

In tender tints on her broidered shoon
     Blossomed the leaves of the myrtle,
And silky buds of the darling June
     Were gathered up in her kirtle;

And fair, fair, fair, in her sunlit hair
     Were violets intertwining,
That seemed more fresh and unfading there
     Than with dewdrops on them shining!

She hid them all in her dim retreat;
     But, heart! a truce to sighing;
She's here—incomparably sweet,
     Unchanging and undying!

We see her brow, and we rejoice,
     Her cheek, as it pales and flushes,
We hear once more in her thrilling voice
     The note of the woodland thrushes;

And through her lashes, tear-empearled,
     A mystic light is breaking,
And all the love of the whole wide world
     Seems in her eyes awaking!
"Persephone" by Florence Earle Coates. Published in Lippincott's Monthly Magazine (April 1901), Mine and Thine (1904) and Poems (1916) Volume II.


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