Quiet we lie beneath the whispering grass

Quiet we lie beneath the whispering grass
With cool and tree green shadow overhead ,
While to and fro the jaded people pass ,
Sighing , “How happy are the dead!”

By envious fortune thwarted and repressed ,
Grieved and discouraged by a thousand frets ,
They turn aside and envy us our rest
Sighing , “The dead have no regrets !”

Yet know , one moment of their harassed life
Outweighs a century in green half-light ,
We lie here stark , and envy them the strife ,
Sighing : “If they but knew , if we but might!”

18th May 1952

Queen Nefertiti

Queen Nefertiti

Lady of mystery, most lovely queen,
The sculptured beauty of thy quiet head
Defies the whirl of time: remote, serene,
Thy thoughts keep endless vigil with the dead.

Thy small, wise smile mocks with amused disdain
Our restless moods of laughter and distress,
Proudly indifferent to bliss or pain.
Immortal in thy chiselled loveliness.

So coldly exquisite, so proudly wise
Thy beauty is — yet had I power to make
Life flash quicksilver swift to thy dark eyes
That haunting glory never should awake.

Lovely in death — how should I summon thee
Back to life’s restless insecurity?
Spring 1946

Marion would be sixteen in June. ‘Restless insecurity’ is apt enough description of her own state. J.S.