Writings and Witterings

At The Well


Hylas and the Water Nymphs (Naiads), J. W. Waterhouse

Hylas and the Water Nymphs (Naiads), J. W. Waterhouse

Water nymphs we find at fountains,
bearded gods look down from mountains,
tales are told by ploughmen, townsmen,
cowmen talk of the stolen boy;
the gorgeous gilded golden boy,
at the well.

Roman naiads, water sprites,
approach the sleeping Hylas,
son of Heracles.
Nymph-like tresses fine as a frieze,
flow like water to the well,
they comb and primp to no avail,
we hear them cry, again they fail
and no waves swell.

They see the boy and speculate,
his crowning glory seals his fate.
He’s grasped by nymphs desirous,
made breathless by his shyness,
at the brightness
of the well.

The water sprites soliloquise:
‘What beauty in his hair and eyes.’
Entranced, they see and glorify
his unusual swirling curls.
Hylas falls fast in love,
at the well.

Heracles sought his special boy, or so the townsmen tell;
missed him, search after fruitless search, up hill, in dale and dell,
while the boy shares naiad power in the joy of love’s sweet spell,
the gods come down from the mountain
draw fresh cool water at the fountain,
at the well.

Polly Robinson Š 2014

Posting this for dVerse ‘The Dog Days of Summer’ – poet behind the bar is Victoria Slotto – join in with the fun!

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52 thoughts on “At The Well

  1. Beautiful artwork and poetry. Took me to good places in your words.

  2. I love how you put poetry to artwork. Yes, a picture is worth a thousand words, but sometimes it’s nice to see those words, too. In this case, very nice!

    • It’s always lovely to see your comments about my poetry, Carrie. Here’s a word for you ‘ekphrastic’ – d’you like it? It’s how you describe a poem that’s about another piece of art eg a painting or sculpture etc. The most famous ekphrastic poem is Keates’s ‘Ode To An Urn’. See? I’m in good company – heh-heh :)

  3. Every picture has its story to tell and Polly you tell it so very well!

  4. This ekphrasis is beautiful, Polly

  5. Wow this is fabulous Polly! And Ive learned yet anorher new word “ekphrastic”. Very interesting! Im learning a lot from your blog Polly! 😊

    • heh-heh…you just never know what’ll turn up next, ‘eh Christine? It is a poem that uses ekphrasis therefore it is ekphrastic poetry. I like the word/s :) And very pleased you like the poem.

  6. The older I get the less I realise I know!! 😊

  7. Polly, what form is this? It is just lovely and works so well with your subject– the fascination of strength and even celebrity with beauty– perhaps with their younger selves. Well done! Thanks. K.

  8. Oh I love this! Did the artwork inspire this?

  9. This is lovely…the nymphs and mythology! And it sings so well. :)

  10. I adore mythology – glad you enjoyed this one, Mohana :)

  11. love the weaving of the myths into your poem – beautiful – K

  12. A lovely cadence to your words ~ I so enjoy reading mythologies and your words made it come alive ~

  13. Wow..the poetry of mythology is one of my most! favorite things..

    The TRUE archetypeS of human subconscious RUN THROUGH AND THROUGH


    your words of beauty
    that here!

  14. You did wonders with your tale of mythology, Polly…your words went perfectly with that picture. Excellent storytelling!

  15. I enjoyed this fresh told tale – of a lost boy taken in by love. There is in it both beauty and goodness – which work both as symbol and metaphor. Well done.

  16. Wonderful use of form and myth to create this stunning poem, Polly. Poems such as these hold the key to understanding so much of life. Nicely done and thanks for sharing.

  17. How lovely you have captured this tale.

  18. Wonderful poetry, element of mythology and a storytell way adds charm to this beautiful work :-)

  19. I love the way you told this story.. eloquent and charming poem, and the artwork.. beautifully done! :-)

  20. Ah, myths for you too this week! Lovely piece of ekphrastic poetry – something I am not very good at, so appreciate all the more in others.

  21. magical and beautifully woven..loved this verse~

  22. a classic feel. well done ~

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