Verse > Anthologies > William Wilfred Campbell, ed. > The Oxford Book of Canadian Verse
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William Wilfred Campbell, comp.  The Oxford Book of Canadian Verse.  1913.
 
The Song of Orpheus
By Edward Burrough Brownlow (1857–1895)
 
PERSEPHONE! Persephone!
Give back my lost delight to me!
By thy great love for thy great lord,
By each sweet thought for him adored,
By love that thrills and love that fills        5
Thy heart as with a thousand rills
Of joy, break down his frozen breast
And lull his vengeful mood to rest,
Till mighty Pluto joyfully
Shall, from his very love for thee,        10
Give back my soul’s delight to me—
        Eurydice! Eurydice!
 
        Persephone! Persephone!
Recall thy lord’s great love for thee,
When in sweet Enna’s golden meads        15
Thou heard’st that rustling of the reeds,
And in thy hands the love-crushed flowers
Were grasped with fear, as from earth’s bowers
He strained thee to his mighty breast,
And bore thee, senseless, to the West,        20
Beyond the opalescent sea
That nightly sings its song of thee;
Give back my soul’s delight to me—
        Eurydice! Eurydice!
 
        Persephone! Persephone!        25
Mark how thy lord yet frowns on me,
Behold the tightening of his lip—
Kiss, kiss his mouth lest there may slip
One word of doom to dash my hope:
Bend down on him thine eyes, and cope        30
With love the gleams that in them shine,
The while I summon to me, mine;
Break, break, by love and memory
The bond of Hades, set me free
Her soul, that is the soul of me—        35
        Eurydice! Eurydice!
 
        Persephone! Persephone!
Clasp him so close he may not see;
Look deep into his soul with love
That from thine eyes he shall not move        40
His own;—ah! thus I gazed on her
That night and heard no serpent stir,
For love, once thralling all the mind,
Makes all the little senses blind;
’Tis well! he drinks love’s alchemy!        45
Where’er in Hades thou may’st be—
Come back! my love! come back to me,
        Eurydice! Eurydice!
 
        Persephone! Persephone!
Lull him with love that unto me        50
No thought may leap with sudden ire,
And steal again my heart’s desire
When she shall come. Ye gods! that light,
It shone when on that fatal night
The daemons took her from my side;        55
’Tis she! they bring her back, my bride!
Let Pluto wake! let Jove decree!
Myself—my soul—come back to me
My joy in life and death to be—
        Eurydice! Eurydice!        60
 
        Persephone! Persephone!
A moment more and we are free;
I feel the breath of outer air,
I see the upper stars so fair,
I hear the lapping of salt waves,        65
I see the light of day that saves,
I feel the pulsing heart-throbs run
Through her fair limbs, I watch the sun
Uprising in her eyes—and see!
Its living light thrills into me;        70
She has come back—come back to me!—
        Eurydice! Eurydice!
 
 
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