Song of Late September
In this irised net I keep
All the moth-winged winds of sleep,
In this basket woven of willow
I have silk-weed for your pillow.
In this pouch of plaited reeds
Stars I bear for silver beads.
Choose my pippins for your money,
Reddening pears as smooth as honey,
Golden grapes and apricots,
Herbs from well-grown garden plots;
Basil, balm, and savoury,
All sweet-smelling things there be,
Fruits a many and flowers a few, —
Fiery dahlias drooped in dew,
Wood-grown asters faint as smoke,
Flame of maple, frond of oak.
In this box of foreign woods
I have delicate woven goods;
Orient laces light as mist,
Amber veils and amethyst,
Ivory pins like hardened milk,
Cloaks of silver-shining silk
Wrought with strange embroideries
Of peacock plumes and rose-berries,
Buy a king’s crown lost of old,
Dark with sardius sunk in gold.
Buy my gloves of spiders spun,
Cool as water, warm as sun;
Buy my shoon of yellow leathers
Lined with fur and owlet feathers:
Buy a chain of emerald stones
Or scarlet seeds or cedar cones.
All sweet, delicate things there be
Honest folk may buy of me,
Ere the earliest thrush has flown
In my eyes the dawns are shown.
On my lips the summer lingers,
Rain has jewelled all my fingers;
In my hand the crickets sing,
And the moon’s my golden ring.
Marjorie L.C. Pickthall
from The Drift of Pinions, 1913
[All rights reserved by the author's estate - Please do not copy]
Marjorie Pickthall (by George Dance)