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

MYISKOS.

Let them keep who they will, Myiskos,
out of Tyre;
the white Lesbian boy
with his arched and polished lyre;
the girl with quince-buds
thrust to match her breasts,
where the revellers,
split the silk, laughing,
kissed (as dawn the quince)
her smiling navel, under the rent vests.

For you,
with audacious eyes,
sea-grey, sea-wild,
you are more than girl or youth.
There is passion
back of the dung-jests of your lips;
you are more beautiful
than white Phoenicean ships;
coarse and delightful
as the bean-blossom
brushed by disdainful lips.

(I see the bay
where pearl and grey and dove
blow to a wave together
round your head;
you play with Love,
Hylas and Ganymede,
diving for pearls and kisses,
all your curls,
whorled shell-wise and burnt red.
as honey-suckle seed.)

Let them keep who they. will, Myiskos,
names, flowers, forms;
limbs wrought of the white orchis,
lips of beautiful dawn,
and the butter-tinted rose
on its mottled thorn;
all the island songs
let them count over and reap,
only your name, Myiskos, they must leave
for me to keep.