By Michael Field
The Grand Duke’s Palace at Weimar
‘Tis Leda lovely, wild and free,
Drawing her gracious Swan down through the grass to see
Certain round eggs without a speck:
One hand plunged in the reeds and one dinting the downy neck,
Although his hectoring bill
Gapes toward her tresses,
She draws the fondled creature to her will.
She joys to bend in the live light
Her glistening body toward her love, how much more bright!
Though on her breast the sunshine lies
And spreads its affluence on the wide curves of her waist and thighs,
To her meek, smitten gaze
Where her hand presses
The Swan’s white neck sink Heaven’s concentred rays.
Source: Michael Field, Sight and Song. London: The Bodley Head [Elkin Mathews and John Lane], 1892.
Katherine Bradley and Edith Cooper