Poem: Adam Lindsay Gordon by Marie E. J. Pitt

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Lulled by the sob of a southern sea
   He sleeps, who waked by the northern foam,
To dream of a brown land, wide and free,
   And make it his home;
Who sang great songs to its bluer dome,
   And netted the strong, strange speech it stirred
With the mourning note of an older lay,
   And swept from us like a wild, bright bird,
      Singing his heart away!

A fighter ever, a conqueror still,
   With his last ride ridden, his last song sung,
And the hemlock measure to drink or spill,
   While the vain shouts rung,
Swift from the tourney his strong soul swung
   Out through the dark to the Giver of Dreams;
Boldly as ever he rode fared he,
   West with the sunset's red triremes,
      Into his own country!

Small need had he of a graven stone
   Who rests so well in his quiet place
'Neath the drifted gold of his wattle, blown
   Through her leaves' green lace.
Nor ever in Hellas' years of grace,
   When Echo played with Olympian chords,
More proudly lifted a laurel tree
   To point the grave of a lord of words
      Sleeping in Thessaly!

Small need had he of a graven stone
   Whose songs have rung through a continent,
Like the notes of a morning bugle blown
   In the winds' high tent,
Reveillé to lands magnificent,
   Where beggars are monarchs of Come-by-Chance,
With titles too clear for a king to break,
   And more than a king is the bold free-lance,
      Singing for singing's sake!

First published in The Bulletin, 30 October 1919

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This page contains a single entry by Perry Middlemiss published on September 17, 2011 8:21 AM.

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