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The Little Fauns To Proserpine

Marjorie Lowry Christie Pickthall 1883 (Gunnersbury, London) – 1922 (Vancouver)

BROWNER than the hazel-husk, swifter than the wind,
Though you turn from heath and hill, we are hard behind,
Singing, 'Ere the sorrows rise, ere the gates unclose
Bind above your wistful eyes the memory of a rose.'

Dark Iacchus pipes the kine shivering from the whin,
Wraps him in a she-goat's fell above the panther skin.
Now we husk the corn for bread, turn the mill for hire,
Hoof by hoof and head by head about the herdsman's fire.

Ai, Adonis, where he gleams, slender and at rest,
One has built a roof of dreams where the white doves nest.
Ere they bring the wine-dark bowl, ere the gates unbar,
Take, O take within your soul the shadow of a star.

Now the vintage feast is done, now the melons glow
Gold along the raftered thatch beneath a thread of snow.
Dian's bugle bids the dawn sweep the upland clear,
Where we snared the silken fawn, where we ran the deer.

Through the dark reeds wet with rain, past the singing foam
Went the light-foot Mysian maids, calling Hylas home.
Syrinx felt the silver spell fold her at her need.
Hear, ere yet you say farewell, the wind along the reed.

Golden as the earliest leaf loosened from the spray,
Grave Alcestis drank of grief for her lord's delay.
Ere you choose the bitter part, learn the changeless wrong,
Bind above your breaking heart the echo of a song.

Now the chestnut burrs are down; aspen-shaws are pale;
Now across the plunging reef reels the last red sail.
Ere the wild, black horses cry, ere the night has birth,
Take, ere yet you say good-bye, the love of all the earth.

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

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Marjorie Lowry Christie Pickthall

Marjorie Lowry Christie Pickthall, was a Canadian writer who was born in England but lived in Canada from the time she was seven. She was once "thought to be the best Canadian poet of her generation." more…

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