Wednesday, December 03, 2014

"The Goddess," by Kathleen Raine

She goes by many names; Diana of the sacred wood
With manifold breasts like acorns on an oak
And primitive features, image of the joy men take
In her, all powerful where in caves and shadows lie
Those mortal beasts, her offspring and her prey.

We have known her as archaic mother Eve.
The earth is all her cradle
Where we awake from our first sleep to see
Her flower-face bending over us
The sky, the rowan, and the elder-tree.

Some worship her as queen of angels, Venus of the sea,
House of gold, palace of ivory,
Gate of heaven and rose of mystery,
Inviolate and ever-virgin earth,
Daughter of time and mother of eternity.

Lover, in your true love's body lies
The sacred darkness of Diana's grove,
Here are the careful arms that Adam's children hold,
And in her heart the cause of joy, the house of gold,
The gate of Heaven, the ever-virgin rose.

Kathleen Raine

From The Collected Poems of Kathleen Raine


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