Writings by Susan Dickinson

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S.H.D. Commonplace Book (16:35:1),
Martha Dickinson Bianchi Collection,
John Hay Library, Brown University Libraries

The Legend of Ishtar
by Grace Duffield Goodwin

Ishtar goes seeking the Lost,
  On through the cold and the heat,
Listening by night and by day
  For the sound of his feet.

Queenly, gold-girdled and proud,
  She sues who was wont to command;
Through the storm and the darkness she seeks
  For the touch of his hand.

Gray grows the bloom of the dawn.
  Where the night lingers starless and wild,
And her longing is fiercer than thirst
  For the lips of the child.

At the sullen, shut portals of Death,
  In the black Halls of Silence and Pain,
For the price of the crown that she wears
  She would clasp him again.

Is it days, is it hours, is it years
  Since he left her to wander alone?
Just to bend down her face on her hair
  She would barter her throne.

Her jewels she flings at the gate;
  Her girdle, her sandals she gives,
Her garment of gold, her gold hair,
  Just to know that he lives.

One moment the portals unclose;
  One moment she sees him in bliss.
O Ishtar, each mother on earth
  Would be beggared for this!


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Transcription and commentary copyright 1998 by Martha Nell Smith,
Laura Elyn Lauth, and Lara Vetter, all rights reserved
Maintained by Rebecca Mooney  <rnmooney@umd.edu>
Last updated on January 25, 2008

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