Hymen

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H. Holt, 1921 - 46 pages
 

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Page 35 - SONG You are as gold as the half-ripe grain that merges to gold again, as white as the white rain that beats through the half-opened flowers of the great flower tufts thick on the black limbs of an Illyrian apple bough. Can honey distill such fragrance as your bright hair — for your face is as fair as rain; yet as rain that lies clear on white honey-comb lends radiance to the white wax, so your hair on your brow casts light for a shadow.
Page 28 - What has love of land given to you that I have not?" I have questioned Tyrians where they sat on the black ships, weighted with rich stuffs, I have asked the Greeks from the white ships, and Greeks from ships whose hulks lay on the wet sand, scarlet with great beaks. I have asked bright Tyrians and tall Greeks "what has love of land given you?
Page 30 - I should have thought in a dream you would have brought some lovely, perilous thing, orchids piled in a great sheath, as who would say (in a dream) I send you this, who left the blue veins of your throat unkissed.
Page 33 - ... light branch ; not honey, not the south ; ah flower of purple iris, flower of white, or of the iris, withering the grass — for fleck of the sun's fire, gathers such heat and power, that shadow-print is light, cast through the petals of the yellow iris flower ; not iris — old desire — old passion — old forgetfulness — old pain — not this, nor any flower, but if you turn again, seek strength of arm and throat, touch as the god ; neglect the lyre-note ; knowing that you shall feel, about...
Page 27 - What are the islands to me, what is Greece, what is Rhodes, Samos, Chios, what is Paros facing west, what is Crete? What is Samothrace, rising like a ship, what is Imbros rending the storm-waves with its breast? What is Naxos, Paros, Milos; what the circle about Lycia, what the Cyclades
Page 30 - Why was it that your hands (That never took mine) Your hands that I could see Drift over the orchid heads So carefully, Your hands, so fragile, sure to lift So gently, the fragile flower stuff — Ah, ah, how was it You never sent (in a dream) The very form, the very scent, Not heavy, not sensuous. But perilous — perilous — Of orchids, piled in a great sheath, And folded underneath on a bright scroll...
Page 28 - What can love of land give to me that you have not what do the tall Spartans know, and gentler Attic folk? What has Sparta and her women more than this? What are the islands to me if you are lost what is Naxos, Tinos, Andros, and Delos, the clasp of the white necklace?
Page 34 - FIRST tasted under Apollo's lips love and love sweetness, I Evadne; my hair is made of crisp violets or hyacinth which the wind combs back across some rock shelf; I Evadne was mate of the god of light. His hair was crisp to my mouth as the flower of the crocus, across my cheek, cool as the silver cress on Erotos bank; between my chin and throat his mouth slipped over and over.
Page 44 - Egypt had cheated us, for Egypt took through guile and craft our treasure and our hope, Egypt had maimed us, offered dream for life, an opiate for a kiss, and death for both. White poison flower we loved and the black spike of an ungarnered bush — (a spice — or without taste — we wondered — then we asked others to take and sip and watched their death) Egypt we loved, though hate should have withheld our touch.
Page 11 - But of her, We can say that she is fair; For we know underneath All the wanness, All the heat (In her blanched face) Of desire Is caught in her eyes as fire In the dark center leaf Of the white Syrian iris. The rather hard, hieratic precision of the music — its stately pause and beat — is broken now into irregular lilt and rhythm of strings. Four tall young women, very young matrons, enter in a group. They stand clear and fair, but this little group entirely lacks the austere precision of the...

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