Riders on Pegasus

Editor: Dr. Jane Hipolito

Owen Barfield composed the poem in approximately 1950.

It remains unpublished.

The original manuscript is held in the Bodleian Library.

A transcript copy manuscript is in the Marion E. Wade Center.
[Reference: OB / MS-186 / X – THE MOTHER OF PEGASUS, 96 pages.]

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Of Perseus and Andromeda my verses:
And yet this Tale has slept till now untold.
For delve in thine own heart―thou too shalt find
How their long reign brought in an age of gold
In Aethiopia, where they grew not old
But passed, as thou dost, listening, through time
Out to the Myth, the Word whose form is Man;
Therefore my tale is news; the dew’s still on my rhyme:

The dew― this drawing up from my own earth
How Myth, being present in the Word, began
To sketch on time his everlasting Now
In master tableaux― whence the soul of man
Took form and substance― takes it rather: Pan
Is piping here, and chaste Bellerophon,
Strong arm and martial spirit, friend, in thee,
Trampling (beneath what hooves!) Chimaera, passes on.

Poets―deep minds― would ye be priests of Meaning?
Makers―or scribes? Oh, utter all ye are!
Reach in those souls the world’s prophetic soul,
The Whole in each become particular,
The Myth: disclose the Word: growing aware
Of old imagination, born anew
As young experience: withered words shall bloom then,
And all your tales, like this new Tale of mine, be true.

Copyright © 1997 — Owen Barfield Literary Estate.       Return to Top.