H. D.

All Greece hates
the still eyes in the white face,
the lustre as of olives
where she stands,
and the white hands.
All Greece reviles
the wan face when she smiles,
hating it deeper still
when it grows wan and white,
remembering past enchantments
and past ills.
Greece sees, unmoved,
God's daughter, born of love,
the beauty of cool feet
and slenderest knees,
could love indeed the maid,
only if she were laid,
white ash amid funereal cypresses.
Copyright © 1982 by the Estate of Hilda Doolittle. Used with permission of New Directions Publishing Corporation. All rights reserved. No part of this poem may be reproduced in any form without the written consent of the publisher.

Poems by This Author

Helen in Egypt, Eidolon, Book III: 4 by H. D.
Did her eyes slant in the old way?
Helen in Egypt, Pallinode, Books I & III by H. D.
At Baia by H. D.
I should have thought
Heat by H. D.
O wind, rend open the heat,
Lais by H. D.
Let her who walks in Paphos
Moonrise by H. D.
Will you glimmer on the sea?
Orchard by H. D.
I saw the first pear
Oread by H. D.
Whirl up, sea
Pear Tree by H. D.
Silver dust
Prayer by H. D.
White, O white face
Sea Rose by H. D.
Rose, harsh rose
Sitalkas by H. D.
Thou art come at length
Song by H. D.
You are as gold / as the half-ripe grain
Stars Wheel in Purple by H. D.
Stars wheel in purple, yours is not so rare
The Helmsman by H. D.
O be swift
The Pool by H. D.
Are you alive?

Further Reading

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Epitaph on a Tyrant
by W. H. Auden
Fletcher McGee
by Edgar Lee Masters
by Isaac Rosenberg
I Wake and Feel the Fell of Dark, Not Day
by Gerard Manley Hopkins