Heart Amiss

I pray I may a maiden meet

Who comes with light and subtle feet

With slender hips and eyes like hawk

Rowanberry lips and skin like chalk

A body firm and toned so lean

With perfect breasts beneath the green

Unfettered hair of raven black

Reaching down to arch of back


I loose my flocks to roam afar

And find her midst the quartz and spar

Oh huntress chaste and most divine

I'd give my soul if you'd be mine

I take her hand, embracing fate

The Goddess true reveals her gait

And when she shines, her orb to climb

She fills my heart with love sublime


© Chris Bond — 19 December 2000


The title of the poem is a fairly obvious play on the name of the subject: Artemis, the goddess of hunting and lunar deity. It does, though, also have an additional interpretation. The majority of my poems are composed with no pre-determined structure; the words flow from deep within, or deep without. This poem was, therefore subconciously, composed in almost perfect iambic tetrameter, like a heartbeat. There is, though, one word which does not conform. The word is rowanberry; it acts like a short increase in the heart rate. The word is, I believe, included in homage to Robert Graves's description of the White Goddess in the book of the same name. It is the thought of the rowanberry lips which temporarily speed the heart, emphasising the homage and explaining the additional interpretation of the title. The poem is, in part, a homage to Graves's description of the White Goddess and, in other part, a homage to Ben Jonson's The Moon Goddess. The poem also echoes Virgil's line from The Aenid, "Vera incessu patuit dea".