Edith M Thomas

Moly

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The root is hard to loose
From hold of earth by mortals; but God's power
Can all things do. 'Tis black, but bears a flower
As white as milk.

- Chapman's Homer

Traveler, pluck a stem of moly,
If thou touch at Circe's isle, -
Hermes' moly, growing solely
To undo enchanter's wile!
When she proffers thee her chalice, -
Wine and spices mixed with malice, -
When she smites thee with her staff,
To transform thee, do thou laugh!
Safe thou art if thou but bear
The least leaf of moly rare.
Close it grows beside her portal,
Springing from a stock immortal, -
Yes! and often has the Witch
Sought to tear it from its niche;
But to thwart her cruel will
The wise God renews it still.
Though it grows in soil perverse,
Heaven hath been its jealous nurse,
And a flower of snowy mark
Springs from root and sheathing dark;
Kingly safeguard, only herb
That can brutish passion curb!
Some do think its name should be
Shield-Heart, White Integrity.
Traveler, pluck a stem of moly,
If thou touch at Circe's isle, -
Hermes' moly, growing solely
To undo enchanter's wile!

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Edith M Thomas