Poem: Olden Rhymes by F.W. Hulme

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Why do ye scorn the rhymes of France,
   O Austral song-birds! And why, pray,
Neglect the joyous old romance,
   Sweet echoes of a bygone day,
   There is a beauty in the lay
That mocks old Time's severest test;
   Believe me, singers, when I say
That olden rhymes are far the best.

In their defence I couch a lance
   Of verse at once both grave and gay,
Of honeyed notes that in life's dance
   Oft ease sad hearts -- oft cares allay.
   I don my armour for the fray,
And set me forth upon my quest:
   To prove to all who say me nay
That olden rhymes are far the best.

Choose Austral themes, in the expanse
   Of ballads, rondeau, roundelay,
In these old shapes you will entrance
   Both heart and brain to do your sway;
   As a great master who doth play
Some old-time air, lulls us to rest,
   And in his mastery doth betray
That olden rhymes are far the best.


Australians, thus your art display!
   And so to you my plaint's addrest:
Remember, when you verse essay,
   That olden rhymes are far the best.

First published in The Bulletin, 11 July 1896 

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This page contains a single entry by Perry Middlemiss published on July 28, 2012 11:54 AM.

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