Mandragora/Persephone

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Persephone
by John Cowper Powys
Published in Mandragora (1917)

PERSEPHONE

AT last!
   After the dumb sick longing;—
At last!
   Filling the ancient urns
With odours and all the air
   With a shudder, a laughter, a cry—
On a wind blown over leagues of tremulous grass,
   Leagues of transparent grass,
Leagues of a million of grass-blades moist with rain,
   Moist with warm rain and fresh from the brown earth—

At last!
   The ravished one, the birth-pale one.
The holy one, the wanton one.
   The Spring returns!

O, youth of the world!
   O, martyred innocents!
Murdered on all these battlefields of ours —
   Fields that are wet with something else than rain —
Is it your blood that lends unto our flowers
   This quivering beauty that redeemeth pain?
For at last!
   The ravished one, the birth-pale one.
The holy one, the wanton one.
   The Spring returns!


This work is in the public domain in the United States because it was published before January 1, 1923.

The author died in 1963, so this work is also in the public domain in countries and areas where the copyright term is the author's life plus 50 years or less. This work may also be in the public domain in countries and areas with longer native copyright terms that apply the rule of the shorter term to foreign works.