Poem: The Song and the Singer by Edward Dyson

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My poet wrote: "Ah! blissful days
   Where Healesville's golden surges rise.
Ah! sweet, warm nights when hidden ways
   Brought thee to me with starlit eyes.
No more of joy can love reveal.
   When other flames illume the night,
In all their glory, dear, I feel
   Thy subtle warmth, and see thy light."

   There came to me a thought of awe:
   "Here's one that reeks not mortal law,
   A lover lion-like and free.
   Ah! Lord, send such a love to me."

My poet wrote: "I scorn the lays
   Of puny circumscribed life.
Give me my foe, and tumbled days,
   The wounds and fever of the strife.
I rive with scorn their little laws,
   Their measured rules I laughing try,
And throw them from my limbs as straws,
   For I must live, or I will die.

   With heating pulse I read his line,
   And whispered, "Here is the fine,
   Exalted soul. He seems to speak
   From some wind-polished mountain peak."

My poet wrote: "The open way,
   The great sea racing 'neath the sky,
These keep me drifting night and day.
   My tent is broad, its roof is high.
By writhing plain and mountain crust
   I chase the eagles on the wing.
Nought will from my unburied dust
   But restless vines and creepers spring."

   I said: "Here is the stir that shook,
   And oped the wide world like a book,
   The poet-soul implanted in
   Some bearded, hook-nosed Bedouin.

At last I saw a little man
In down-heeled slippers and a fez,
Who hastened with a painted can,
And watered all his cabbages.
There rooted in a wee backyard,
By stings of heat and storm forsook,
Is living still my splendid bard.
His wife she has a famished look.

   'Tis said, what's learned in suffering
   The animated poets sing.
   But with a keener note is trilled
   A gnawing instinct unfulfilled.

First published in The Bulletin, 24 May 1917

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This page contains a single entry by Perry Middlemiss published on April 14, 2012 9:55 AM.

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