Beck Center English Dept. University Libraries Emory University
Emory Women Writers Resource Project Collections:
Emory Women Writers Resource Project

Arrow Music by Bryher, an electronic edition

by W. Bryher [Bryher, Annie Winifred Ellerman]

date: 1922
source publisher: J. & E. Bumpus
collection: Early 20th Century Literature

Table of Contents

<< Poem Poem >>

PENTHESILEIA.

A chilles wept, they said,
to see you dead.

For there was fire of poppies in your eyes,
and all your armour-hidden flesh
was smooth as the white skies.

Men might have set
their soft dis-honouriag lips
where belt and belt-clasp met;
hands might have trapped and dragged
a captive to the ships.

But he, they told,
drove through the tunic fold
and wept--but gave you honour
giving death.

Life should be free-
for this you left, (to fight in Phrgyia)
the squirrels and the hounds
and the dark, desolate eagles
and the sea.

A thrust,
and the grey dust-
But Achilles
remembering how he slept alone at Skyros,
wept for the first time
his too swift hands.

He left his spear, they said,
where you lay dead,
with golden poppies bound about your head.