The Virgin Print
By Kathleen Raine   
Thursday, 08 November 2012

The mother-virgin’s eyes are myrtle-leaves,
The garden has gathered in her peace
With all its noon and evening shades.
 
In her walks of thought, the doves
And sparrows feed; the trees
Let fall their petals on untrodden grass.
 
In her untroubled rest
He may sleep safe among the evergreens,
May look into her deep regard
And see in mirrored skies his mirrored face.
 
It scarcely seems that he has come
Into another mode of being.
Her mind’s unopened book of hours
Does not disturb eternity with time,
And in the maiden’s lap, how guess
The midnight of unanswered prayer,
The king betrayed under the olive-trees?
 
And yet, she knows: the book is closed
Because she wills it so.
She knows, unread, all that is written there,
But holds the present, future and the past
Outside the enfolding mantle of love’s Now.