H. D.



The light passes
from ridge to ridge,
from flower to flower —
the hepaticas, wide-spread
under the light
grow faint —
the petals reach inward,
the blue tips bend
toward the bluer heart
and the flowers are lost.

The cornel-buds are still white,
but shadows dart
from the cornel-roots —
black creeps from root to root,
each leaf
cuts another leaf on the grass,
shadow seeks shadow,
then both leaf
and leaf-shadow are lost.

Pallinode, Book 1, Section 7

Helen achieves the difficult task of translating a symbol in time, into timeless-time or hieroglyph or ancient Egyptian time. She knows the script, she says, but we judge that this is intuitive or emotional knowledge, rather than intellectual. In any case, a night-bird swooped toward them, in their first encounter on the beach. To Achilles, lately arrived from Troy and the carnage of battle, this is a "carrion creature," but Helen would banish these memories. She says she is "instructed," she is enchanted, rather.