Poem: Contemporary Portraits: Roderic Quinn by Arthur H. Adams

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The glad Australian sun's a-shine,
Spring riots in the blood like wine;
   For work who would be wishing?
So gaily out with rod and line,
   And let us all go fishing!

Pale, punctual clerks of office stream,
They work all day; they do not seem
   To live a life exciting.
But in the poet's endless dream
   The fish are always biting.

He baits his hook with memories,
And wafted by a rhythmic breeze
   He drifts on Life's smooth river,
Proud when upon his hook he sees
   A shining stanza quiver.

About his line quaint fancies play;
Dreams nibble all his bait away --
   His hook has nothing on it;
But sometimes at the end of day
   He lands a silver sonnet

And though sometimes he catches bream
He drops them back into the stream,
   For lovelier things he's wishing.
If on his hook there hangs a dream
   He's had a good day's fishing.

I wonder what fine fish he bought
With what his golden dream-fish brought?
   Surely there were none sweeter
Than those he in his stanzas caught
   Or netted in his metre?

Yet though his fish with joy are placed
Upon our table, sweet to taste,
   In these stern days one wishes
No grown man all his hours should waste
   Just catching pretty fishes!

First published in The Bulletin, 12 October 1916

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This page contains a single entry by Perry Middlemiss published on October 27, 2012 9:36 AM.

Reprint: Our Own Writers: Poets Alive by Nettie Palmer was the previous entry in this blog.

Australian Bookcovers #328 - All the Green Year by Don Charlwood is the next entry in this blog.

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