A Grave by the Sea by George Essex Evans

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No white cloud sails the lonely sky,
Thro' the gaunt trees no breezes sigh,
   Thro' the lush grass no fall of feet;
No song of bird in all the land,
   But, floating faint and dreamily,
The distant dirge of waves that beat
   In discontent upon the sand.

Here, where all Nature seems aswoon,
   Time, languid as a summer stream,
Drifts down the soft sweet afternoon;
   And Death, discrowned of terror, brings
Surcease to souls that wake not soon,
   And casts above Life's fevered dream
Cool shadows of Immortal Wings.

Here, by the old graves overgrown,
A bare mound, without wreath or stone,
   Marks where he sleeps 'mid grasses long,
Who sought not things that others seek,
   Who fought in silence and alone,
Who in his weakness was so strong
   And in his strength so weak.

The shining years shall glide and go,
The human tides shall ebb and flow,
   And Love make sweet the days to be,
And Death make smooth the brow of pain,
   But no such heart again shall glow,
And no such friend shall come to me
   Thro' all the cycles that remain.

Some pass and perish with their breath;
He liveth still and quickeneth,
   As scent of roses on the wind
Recalls the bygone Summer's day;
   He leaves this side the seas of Death
The fragrance of a noble mind:
   He dies, but passes not away.

First published in The Queenslander, 2 March 1895

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 March 2, 2011 7:28 AM.

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