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By H. D.

Where the slow river   

meets the tide,

a red swan lifts red wings

and darker beak,

and underneath the purple down

of his soft breast

uncurls his coral feet.


Through the deep purple

of the dying heat

of sun and mist,

the level ray of sun-beam

has caressed

the lily with dark breast,

and flecked with richer gold

its golden crest.


Where the slow lifting   

of the tide,   

floats into the river   

and slowly drifts   

among the reeds,   

and lifts the yellow flags,   

he floats   

where tide and river meet.   


Ah kingly kiss—

no more regret   

nor old deep memories   

to mar the bliss;   

where the low sedge is thick,   

the gold day-lily   

outspreads and rests   

beneath soft fluttering   

of red swan wings

and the warm quivering

of the red swan’s breast.


n/a

Poet Bio

In a career that spanned five decades, H.D. (Hilda Doolittle) was given many labels: Imagist, feminist, mythologist, and mystic. Her abiding concern, though, was to explore and represent her personal experience as a poet and a woman. In addition to poetry, she published novels, short stories, and two epic poems on war: Trilogy and Helen in Egypt.

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