Poem: An Echo by "Christophus" (George Essex Evans)

In the harmony of ages floating from the dreamy Past,
In the old romantic legends where the seeds of song were cast,
In the pleasant fields of Fancy, whence the flowers of genius sprung,
Can we find a path untrodden? Can we find a song unsung?
Lamps of Genius burning brightly thro' the mists of bygone days,
With the light of strong endeavour ever mingling with their rays;
Dreams of dreamers, chants of singers made immortal in their song,
With a soft and tender cadence, or a passion fierce and strong;
Like the chimes from distant belfries, like the restless winds that blow
Northwards with tempestuous fury, southwards musically slow;
Like the thunderous roar of breakers bursting on a rocky strand,
Or the rhythmic rippling river murmuring softly thro' the land;
Sinking, soaring, swelling upwards sound their melodies sublime --
Sound the Voices of the Ages echoing thro' the Halls of Time.  
What is left us? Shall we wander midst the fields their feet have prest!
Sing again the songs they sang us in their passion of unrest!
Sing of Nature, 'neath whose influence all the poet's instinct stirs --
Feels the throbbing of his pulses beat in unison with hers;
When the Dawn's gray veil of vapour falls before the face of Day,
And the arrows of the sunshine drive the shadowy night away;
Like a goddess in her splendour, robed with many a roseate hue,
In the mantle of the morning, jewelled with the guttering dew!
Softer in the calm of sunset, mellower where the eye may see
Placid purple clouds, like islands, floating in a golden sea,
When the crimson-tinted sunlight sinks and pales in waning rays
And like rush of many waters come the thoughts of other days;
Till the creeping mists grow deeper and the evening air is still
With the awe of solemn shadows hanging darkly on the hill;
Till with wide and rapid pinions sweeps the Spirit of the Night,
And our thoughts are carried onwards in the current of its flight,
Through the wreathing mists of darkness where the midnight reigns alone
From the regions of the Finite to the bars of the Unknown.

All our songs are but the echoes of the chants long heard before;
All our loves and our ambitions like the wavebeats on the shore,
Coming, going, passing, ending with their restless hopes and fears,
Till at last in silence buried in the cenotaph of years.

First published in The Queenslander, 9 July 1887

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This page contains a single entry by Perry Middlemiss published on October 9, 2010 8:25 AM.

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