Tag Archives: lady alfred douglas bosie

The Virgin’s Crown

They shall weave a crown of lilies for her head,
For her feet they shall bring the rose;
And the maiden that treads in the virgin’s tread
Shall follow wherever she goes.

And the crown of the virgin shall be of gold,
And the lilies shall be of snow,
And the rose that blooms at her feet shall unfold
Like the lily that buds below.

For the crown of the virgin is pure and white,
And the roses are sweet and fair,
And the lilies that bloom in the pale moonlight
Are the sign of the maidens’ prayer.

And the maiden that treads in the virgin’s tread
Shall follow wherever she goes,
For the crown of the virgin shall be her head,
And the rose shall bloom at her toes.

Published in Lord Alfred Douglas’s Sonnets (1908), Richards Press, along with three other poems by Olive.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Easter Song


Oh the world’s all clad in green today,
With buttercups and daisies gay,
And the little clouds have wings of white,
And the sky is blue and the sun is bright.

The little birds that sang so well
In the winter’s worst are too glad to tell
Of the days that come, and the days that go,
And the winter gone and the world aglow.

All the earth is singing so,
For the Easter-tide and the roses blow,
And the hearts of men keep holiday,
For the world is sweet on Easter day.

The music of the bells doth rise,
From every belfry to the skies,
And all the little hills and dales
Are pealing out their Easter tales.

The flowers they bloom, the birds they sing,
For the glory of their risen King,
And the hearts of men keep holiday,
For the world is sweet on Easter day.

Published in “Poetry: A Magazine of Verse” in 1914.
From Olive Custance Collection,
University of Victoria, Special Collections.

This attribution is secondhand , so I am not 100% sure about it. I am currently checking.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

The Secret Garden

Within a walled enclosure, green with box,
I found a garden of all beauty made.
A world of flowers grew there; every shade
Of colour fell upon the curious rocks
That gave the garden an enchanted look.
Here blue and purple muscari unrolled
Their slender spires of blue and purple gold;
Here sweet alyssum the winds of morning shook;
Here tulips spread their gaudy chalices;
Here bright anemones, with coloured flames,
Flared up among the other blossoms’ names,
A glory and a wonder to the bees;
And here was every flower that ever grew,
And every colour that the rainbow knew.

But this was not enough. I found a gate,
And, entering, I was in another world.
Here the imagination might unfurl
Its wings, and fly beyond the common state
Of human life, and find a new estate
In the dominion of the sun, and be
A radiant and resplendent entity.
Here was the fairyland of fable; great
Green trees, like giants standing in the sun,
With trunks of silver and with leaves of gold,
Whose branches all mysterious stories told
Of fairies and their doings, every one.
Here were the pools where water-nymphs arise,
And mirrors for the stars to see their eyes.

This was the garden of the hidden things,
The secret garden of the hidden springs.

“The Secret Garden” was first published in The Sketch in 1926.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized


Autumn woods, my heart is tired with wandering about 

And all my courage fails, 

O lovely woods draw close your coloured veils,

And shut the cold world out!

The little tangled branches catch my curls, the bracken makes

Strong nets to hold me fast,

But safe in Heaven my truant spirit makes 

Her bright wings free at last!

From Country Life, Vol. 46, Iss. 1194,  (Nov 22, 1919), p 649.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized


I HAVE loved statues . . . spangled dawns have seen
Me bowed before their beauty . . . when the green
And silver world of Spring wears radiantly
The morning rainbows of an opal sky . .
And I have chanted curious madrigals
To charm their coldness, twined for coronals
Blossoming branches, thinking thus to change
Their still contempt for mortal love, their bright
Proud scorn to something delicate and strange,
More sweet, more marvellous, than mere delight !

I have loved statues—passionately prone
My body worshipped the white form of stone!!
And like a flower that lifts its chalice up
Towards the light—my soul became a cup
That over-brimming with enchanted wine
Of ecstasy—was raised to the divine
Indifferent lips of some young silent God
Standing aloof from all our tears and strife,
Tranced in the paradise of dreams, he trod
In the untroubled summer of his life

I have loved statues . . . and at night the cold
Mysterious moon behind a mask of gold—
Or veiled in silver veils—has seen my pride
Utterly broken—seen the dream denied
For which I pleaded—heedless that for me
The miracle of joy could never be . . .
As in old legends beautiful and strange,
When bright gods loved fair mortals born to die,
And the frail daughters of despair and change
Became the brides of immortality ?

From The Blue Bird (1905)

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Olive Custance (Lady Alfred Douglas) back in print

The Inn of Dreams: Poems by Olive Custance

Edited, with a substantial biographical introduction by Edwin James King

List Price: $6.30
6.14″ x 9.21″ (15.596 x 23.393 cm)
Black & White on White paper
116 pages
Saint Austin Press
ISBN-13: 978-1901157697
ISBN-10: 1901157695
BISAC: Poetry / European / English, Irish, Scottish, Welsh

Olive Custance was the beautiful wife of Lord Alfred Douglas, the disgraced lover of Oscar Wilde. Apart from that, the literary world knows little of her today. Her reputation lies very much in the shadow of the men who knew and loved her. And yet this woman was a gifted poet in her own right and a friend of many key figures of the ‘fin de siècle’.

In this edition of The Inn of Dreams, a selection of poems made by Custance herself in 1911, editor Edwin King casts new light on the woman and her work with a substantial biographical introduction.

It is about time for lovers of poetry for rediscover this charming girl who once wrote to her husband :”Like a shy child I bring you all my songs”.

Available soon via http://www.Amazon.com,  www.amazon.co.uk etc

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized