The Hill

The day was dull. The air was dank,
and on my hill the grass was rank
and autumn-brown.
A wind complained among the boughs.
Round about my feet was spread
the thick-massed mould of autumns dead,
and on the boles of ancient trees
lichen ruled in verdigris,
and each stone wore its emerald cap
of moss. Upon the midmost slab
in silvern trail
there clung the gleaming citron snail.

And in the twilight long ago
I lingered on this stone, I know,
and felt her oread arms entwine
my helpless soul, and drank the wine
of ancient eves; felt Lethe flow
within my veins.  And I would know
that dream again – if dream it were –
and I would ministrate to her
as on that eve when first she swayed
against the stars, and met my gaze.
Her limbs were soft, and warm, and lithe,
and pagan fires were in her eyes;
flowers wound her darkling fleece
and corybantic pulses beat
the drums of time. Her moon-round breasts
pursued my chest,
and love diffused its gramarie.

But some Cybelean devilry
took her, and all, away –
and rising in cold light of day,
I stood alone
beside the stone.
And no nephenthe
would assuage the cleaving memory.
That bitter morn I can but grieve.

As, languorous, I strove to leave,
from sullen shadows – bleak, morose,
the faint notes of the syrinx rose.

From ‘Otherworld’

8 thoughts on “The Hill

  1. Powerful imagery illuminates these rhyming couplets. The poem flows with a nice rhythm to tell its legendary tale. The narrator’s excellent use of myth expresses the poetic soul. Thanks for sharing this poem… You write well.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, ‘poetryatnightblog’. You’re right – there’s no doubt where that hill is. I had Arthur Machen, Twmbarlwm, and those lonely hills of Gwent firmly on my mind when writing this.

      Liked by 1 person

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