A Celebration of Women Writers

"The Daughter of Jairus" by Beatrice Constance Peterson Redpath (-1937)
In Garvin, John William, ed. Canadian Poets. Toronto, Canada: McClelland, Goodchild & Stewart, Publishers, 1916. p. 442.

Editor: Mary Mark Ockerbloom

[Page 442]

The Daughter of Jairus

I HAVE fashioned soft raiment for her to wear
And have laid her embroidered sandals in her room,
I have said I would braid and bind her heavy hair,
But she has gone out to the orchard to gather bloom.

Last night she lay in the dusk with her eyes adream,
And I questioned of what were her dreams as I touched her hand,
But she looked at me with a smile in her eyes' dark gleam,
What word might she use to make me understand?

So she spoke instead of the earth all bathed in light,
Of the moon as a lily when the leaves unfold,
Of the trees like silver plumes to deck the night,
Of the starry skies as a blazoned script unrolled.

She has no praise for all she had cherished before,
And has given away her beads of yellow gold,
Strange she seems, yet more kind than heretofore,
And I marvel much at the dreams she must withhold.

She has spoken no word about her curious sleep,
And the light in her eyes we have vainly essayed to read,
The secret of her dream she must hidden keep,
For her lips are framed but to an earthly need.

She has left her sandals lying upon the floor
And all untasted her goblet of amber wine,
She has gone out to the sun beyond the door
To sit in the cool green gloom of the hanging vine.


Editor: Mary Mark Ockerbloom