Is it wrong to speak of loss as Spring brings us abundant signs of new life? Perhaps we should honor the element of sacrifice and look for what is birthed anew within us as we surrender to what is no more?
Ella Young knew loss - she wrote a few poems in which her grief, cloaked in mystical imagery and tales of valor, is painfully raw. We will never know the name of the one, her Prince of Night, Ella mourns. I wonder if the person was ever aware of the love she bore them - or the words they inspired?
The Prince of Night remained an unpublished poem until it was included in the anthology At the Gates of Dawn: A Collection of Writings by Ella Young by myself and John Matthews.
Prince of Night
Wisdom I have, Like those who are so wise
That they make bargain for it overnight
And have it from their birth-hour. So delight
That is but shadow-sooth, and sorrow dies.
No morn of Spring, no morning yet rise,
Will glad you on my threshold; nor will sight,
Sun-royal sight of you, make noontide bright:
Nor Hesper bring you with the darkening skies.
Fragile, alas, the world by dreaming won!
Perdurable, some alien world may be:
Let who will, vaunt its perils or its lures,
Make pattern of its stars, and mightier sun,
Despoil its jeweled empires, happily –
My world may perish, but the Dream endures!