Poem: A Vision Splendid by Victor Daley (Part 1)

Half waking and half dreaming,
   While starry lamps hung low
I saw a vision splendid
   Upon the darkness glow.

The Capital Australian,
   With waving banners plumed --
A shining flower of marble --
   Magnificently bloomed.

Beside a snow-fed river
   'Twas built in fashion rare --
Upon a lofty mountain,
   All in a valley fair.

The stately ships were sailing,
   Like brides with flowing trains,
To seek its secret harbor
   Amidst Australian plains.

And all around it flourished
   Luxuriantly free,
The giant gum and mangrove,
   The crimson desert-pea.

And I beheld a building
   That made a stately show --
The National Australian
   Head Poetry Bureau.

I gazed upon that Building
   With trembling joy aghast;
The long-felt want of ages
   Was filled (I thought) at last.

No more the Native Poet
   Need wildly beat his head
For lofty lyric measures
   To buy him beer and bed.

Now he would lodge right nobly
   And sleep serene, secure,
All in a chamber filled with
   Adhesive furniture.

For never foot of Bailiff
   Should pass his threshold o'er,
And never knock of landlord
   Sound direful on his door.

The State should also aid him
   To build his lofty rhyme
On lordly eggs-and-bacon,
   And sausages sublime.

And he should drink no longer
   Cheap beer at common bar,
But royal wine of Wunghnu
   At two-and-nine the jar.

It was a vision splendid,
   And brighter still did grow
When I was made the Chief of
   The Poetry Bureau.

They clad me all in purple,
   They hung me with festoons,
My singing-robes were spangled
   With aluminium moons.

And, as a sign of genius
   Above the common kind,
A wreath of gilded laurel
   Around my hat they twined.

They also gave me power to
   The grain sift from the chaff,
And choose at my large pleasure
   My own poetic staff.

First published in The Bulletin, 1 September 1904
The second part of this poem will be reprinted next week.

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Perry Middlemiss published on September 9, 2006 8:44 AM.

Australian Bookcovers #28 - Praise by Andrew McGahan was the previous entry in this blog.

Australian Books to Film #17 - Robbery Under Arms is the next entry in this blog.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.

Monthly Archives

Powered by Movable Type 4.23-en