Edwardian and Georgian Canadian Poets
Captive and Other Poems
14th Mar 2014Posted in: Edwardian and Georgian Canadian Poets 0

CAPTIVE
AND
OTHER POEMS

By
CONSTANCE DAVIES WOODROW

To Dr. S. P. Feuster
with best wishes from
yours fraternally
Constance Davies Woodrow

Christmas Greetings

1930 [unnumbered page]

Second Dawn 

I who had thought to love you with such joy, 
   Fall strangely into all my maiden-ways, 
And, with the hush of twilight on my heart, 
   Stand mute and shy with unuplifted gaze. 

For you are one with all the transient things, 
   That stab the heart with sorrow keenly-sweet:
A spray of blossom, white against the dusk; 
   A drift of fragrance wafted on the street. 

The gleam of bluebells in a forest aisle; 
   The crying splendor of a tree in Fall; 
The lingering glory of an afterglow; 
   The robin’s first enraptured mating-call. 

A crescent moon, with one attendant star, 
   Low-poised above a mountain’s purple height; 
The throbbing anguish of a violin
   Across the stillness of a summer night.

Of these poems 250 copies have been printed by the Tower Printing and Publishing company, Limited, Toronto, for private circulation. Copyright by Constance Davies Woodrow. [unnumbered page]

Sonnets

(i)

Had we but met in those more glamorous days 
   When far-famed Merlin wrought his wizardry
And fairy people walked our mortal ways, 
   I would have sought their aid, that I might be 
For your dear sake a small girl-child again, 
   With you for sire.—What dream could me more sweet?—
I could have worshipped you, unchided, then, 
   And knelt in listening wonder at your feet;
I could have leaned my head against your own, 
   To whisper childhood secrets in your ear, 
And walked with you in comradeship, alone, 
   To see the year’s first hyacinths appear. 
But since I needs must play a woman’s part, 
I veil my face and fortify my heart.

(ii)

I look on you with fear, who can subdue
   The dark, tempestuous waters of my soul 
And leave them flowing deep and calm and blue, 
   With every jutting rock and threatening shoal
Made plainly visible; I fear that power
   That brings such sudden peace to my distress, 
And lends to every leaf and every flower
   A mystical and poignant loveliness; 
That stays my feet and turns away my gaze
   From heights that long have lured me from afar, 
And sheds across my clouded nights and days
   The radiance of an unfamiliar star. 
Who are you, that the gods invoke your aid 
In re-creating what themselves have made? [unnumbered page]

Captive

I can never lose you now, 
   Thought you struggle long; 
I have caught and prisoned you 
   In a web of song. 

Tone of voice and turn of head, 
   Eyes of misty blue, 
Pensive mouth and speaking hands—
   I have all of you.

Little tricks of thought and speech, 
   Hopes and dreams as well; 
Even little secret things 
   That you never tell. 

I have prisoned all of you 
   Out of reach of Time, 
Out of reach of Change or Death, 
   In a web of rhyme. [unnumbered page]
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