Dancing Dust

Poems by Mollie Caird (1922-2000)

"On such a night..."
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Our two lives are made one on such a night,
Indistinguishable as the merge
Where sea and sky across the glimmering verge
Drift into the faded sunset's light.
Only the seagulls ruffle with their flight
The quiet, and make intermittent dirge
Of restless crying down along the surge
Flecking the undiscovered gloom with white.
Our love has roused the moon above the hill,
Startled a meteor, and reaped the crop
Of faint white stars: our love has woven a ring
Small in the heather-scented dark, until
We know the straitened seas are but a drop,
And all the isles a very little thing.


The title is an often-used quotation from Virgil's Aenead in which Dido stands in the moonlight on the beach at Carthage waving her lover back from the wars with a wand of willow.

Dated: August 1943.