For my husband

on the first anniversary of his death

by Katharine Jones (1)


Festal was the core of his beginning;

Cymbals clashing and the sirens singing.


Joyful was his youth carried before him,

A proud banner when the angels bore him.


Then the unimaginable, crushing,

Cast its shadow - with the world hushing.


Unimaginable horror bringing,

Crying, weeping, threatening, ever clinging.


Dragons in eternal circles rising,

Laughing, loving, hating and despising;


And his limbs turning to poisoned sliming,

Paralysed they felt the creatures climbing.


Yet he rose, with wild eyes terror staring

Pounding heart against the horrors daring


All his being 'gainst the creatures pitting

They, that now were poisonous honey spitting;


And his lameness and his horror fighting

Through the darkness, thunderous, alighting


On he went through murk and terror striding

Till he saw - and heard - and felt abiding


What no eye, no ear, no sense was sounding

But his heartbeat and his blood was pounding.


So the dragons cringed, their fangs now bending,

So he brought the deed to glorious ending.


Then the terror was at last receding

And he fell from many red mouths bleeding.


And there burst forth in cheerfullest eclipse

A cry of joy from his exalted lips.




Katharine Jones was the wife of the renowned English psychoanalyst Ernest Jones.

The poem appears after the preface to her husband's autobiography

Free Associations - Memories of a Psycho-analyst (1959) The Hogarth Press, London