The Ballade of the Stumped by Edward Dyson

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I've sung of ladies dark and fair,
   Of blue, and black and hazel eyes;
Of golden, brown and raven hair;
   Of maidens simple, maidens wise;
   Of small, slim dames, and dames who rise
To manly heights: the thin and stout.
   Now, Muse, what more can you devise --
What is there left to rhyme about?

I've rhymed of happy lovers where
   The wind-blown, golden blossom flies;
I've told of fierce-eyed loves who share
   A passion for some wild emprise;
   I've sung of love that shrewdly lies
And love that has no kind of doubt;
   Of love that blights or sanctifies --
What is there left to rhyme about?

Too oft in writing here and there
   A tender song did I devise
Of lovers in a rosy lair,
   Where vengeance came in grimmest guise.
   Of loves who weep and agonise,
Of loves who jubilantly shout
   Their joyance to the smiling skies --
What is there left to rhyme about?


Erato, give thy slave a prize --
   New views of love a bard may spout:
Of love that lives or love that dies --
   What is there left to rhyme about?

First published in The Bulletin, 17 February 1921

Author reference sites: Austlit, Australian Dictionary of Biography, Australian Poetry Library

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This page contains a single entry by Perry Middlemiss published on February 17, 2011 8:07 AM.

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