A Pen-Drawing of Leda

 By Michael Field

Sodoma

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.

–1892

Source:  Michael Field, Sight and Song.  London: The Bodley Head [Elkin Mathews and John Lane], 1892. 

Katherine Bradley and Edith Cooper

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Filed under 19th-century literature gems, Literature musings

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