Dancing Dust

Poems by Mollie Caird (1922-2000)


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Prisons are rat-infested, and the slime
Crawls on the flagged floor, eating with slow rust
The chains which are the memory of lust
And galling reminiscences of crime.
But there are window-bars, and came a time
When his numb fingers wrote because they must
Of a sword and a rose he saw in the sunny dust,
And a fair queeen on a palfrey white as rime.
She was a lady, more than a white ghost,
Bright eyes she had, bright hair and living breath,
Gold crowned under a green canopy;
And she it was whom Lancelot loved most,
Singing of beauty long since damned to death,
And grief condemned to immortality.

Dated 31 January 1944