Hilda Doolittle

Here you will find the Poem Leda of poet Hilda Doolittle


Where the slow river 
meets the tide, 
a red swan lifts red wings 
and darker beak, 
and underneath the purple down 
of his soft breast 
uncurls his coral feet. 

Through the deep purple 
of the dying heat 
of sun and mist, 
the level ray of sun-beam 
has caressed 
the lily with dark breast, 
and flecked with richer gold 
its golden crest. 

Where the slow lifting 
of the tide, 
floats into the river 
and slowly drifts 
among the reeds, 
and lifts the yellow flags, 
he floats 
where tide and river meet. 

Ah kingly kiss -- 
no more regret 
nor old deep memories 
to mar the bliss; 
where the low sedge is thick, 
the gold day-lily 
outspreads and rests 
beneath soft fluttering 
of red swan wings 
and the warm quivering 
of the red swan's breast.