Artemis

We present this work in honor of the poet’s 130th birthday.

Dulcie Deamer
Australian
1890 – 1972

 

I am type of singleness…
Dazzling breasts that never bless
With their bared surrendering
Amorous strengths that man may bring
To their conquest. They are free
As two wild white mares may be—
Two young mares that scream and rear
Should a stallion trample near—
Fierce as panthers, fair as doves,
Spurning yoke and curb of loves…
Loins and thighs and knees of snow
Never stress of love may know.
As far mountain-snows that lie
In a pallid, holy sky,
By a fainting wanderer seen
From a midnight-dark ravine,
Spur his thirst and hurt his soul,
So I stand—the hopeless goal
Of the finite world’s desire…
All the flowers of noonday’s fire
Fade before my sovereign white
(Hueless hue of death’s delight).
Tallest lilies round my knees
In their pallor seem to freeze.
‘Neath my huntress-sandalled feet
Bruised roses yield their sweet,
Like crushed hearts that redly wet
Love’s bare feet upon them set.
Am I crueller than Love—
I, the god no prayer can move,
I, the buried fountain sealed,
I, the beauty unrevealed,
I, the vase of unlipped wine,
I, the never-entered shrine,
I, the smooth, unridden steed,
I, the untrodden mountain-mead
Thick with starry, virgin flowers
Where the footless cliff uptowers?…
Love’s keen feet are bloody-red:
Round the fervent marriage-bed
Taloned roses, vine on vine,
Like fanged and lovely serpents twine—
A bed of tears and fever-drouth,
Striving limbs and sobbing mouth,
Famished flame and slain desire,
And the muted Orphic lyre…
Have I offered bitter bread?—
Though your hungers are unfed,
Though my feet you still pursue
Over glimmering leagues of dew,
Wonder is the wood before you,
Beauty is the planet o’er you…
Only to Endymion dead
Did I bow my long-tressed head—
Sealed his eye-lids with the kiss
Of inviolate Artemis.
I, th’immortal dream that flies
Ever from life-dazzled eyes;
I, the joy forever sought,
I, the quarry never caught
(Silver bird or pallid fawn
Fleeing through the dews of dawn)
I, the snow-white heart of heat
Where all colours ruse and meet,
I, the death wherein is life,
I, the unshaken core of strife—
When you grasp me, Hunter-soul,
God-like you have grasped the Whole!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.