Edwardian and Georgian Canadian Poets
Sonnets to Gabriel
19th Mar 2014Posted in: Edwardian and Georgian Canadian Poets 0

Selections from
SONNETS
To
GABRIEL
[illustration]

By
CONSTANCE DAVIES WOODROW

CHRISTMAS GREETINGS
1931

XI

Metamorphosis

I who was born a wildling of the Spring—
Endowed with lyric mirth and ecstasy, 
Made kin to every winged or leaping thing, 
To every glowing flower and pulsing tree,—
Because of you forsake my pagan ways, 
Put off my garlands and my robes of flame, 
And dance no more beneath your chastening gaze,
But stand abashed, in unaccustomed shame;
My garish gipsy colors I replace 
With twilight-hues of sunless wave or cloud;
Madonna-like, I walk with wimpled face
And downcast eyes that once were gay and proud.
Oh, what, in jest or earnest, have you done 
To make a child of Romany a nun?
                                          (Acknowledgements to America)

XXIII

In the Time of the May

My tears taste not so bitter now as when 
The frost was grey on folded flower and leaf, 
For on the world the may-time falls again, 
Reviving hopes that languished, softening grief, 
And bringing respite to my spirit’s drouth. 
The space is closed between our severed ways;
With every breeze your kiss attains my mouth;
The flowers give back your meditative gaze;
Upon the soft spring moon our glances meet;
And every day, in sunshine or in shower, 
With what delight I tread one crowded street
Because you walked there in an earlier hour!
Grief I have still, but now so dear it grows
That almost I shall mourn it when it goes.

XXVI

If Love Endured

Naught can I fashion, love, for your delight,
That would endure beyond my songs’ brief day;
That would escape the vast, rapacious Night 
Which swallows up the potter with his clay. 
In such a little while both you and I 
Shall cease to sing or listen, laugh or weep, 
And, hidden from the enigmatic sky,
Beneath a patch of earth shall take our sleep;
And who that rests a hand with idle touch 
Upon our sunken, time-eroded stone, 
Will know or care that once I loved you much, 
Or that you made my singing all your own?
If love endured, when failed the sun’s last spark 
Your name should flash in flame across the dark.
                   (Acknowledgements to The Canadian Bookman)

Of these poems 250 copies have been printed by the Age Press,

31 Willcocks Street, Toronto, for private circulation.

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