Perdita by James Hebblethwaite

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The sea-coast of Bohemia
   Is pleasant to the view
When singing larks spring from the grass
   To fade into the blue;
And all the hawthorn hedges break
   In wreaths of purest snow,
And yellow daffodils are out,
   And roses half in blow.

The sea-coast of Bohemia
   Is sad as sad can be,
The prince has ta'en our flower of maids    
   Across the violet sea;    
Our Perdita has gone with him,    
   No more we dance the round    
Upon the green in joyous play,
   Or wake the tabor's sound.    
 
The sea-coast of Bohemia   
   Has many wonders seen,   
The shepherd lass wed with a king,   
   The shepherd with a queen;
But such a wonder as my love   
   Was never seen before --   
It is my joy and sorrow now   
   To love her evermore.   
 
The sea-coast of Bohemia
   Is haunted by a light   
Of memory of lady's eyes,   
   And fame of gallant knight;   
The princes seek its charm├Ęd strand,   
   But ah! it was our knell
When o'er the sea our Perdita   
   Went with young Florizel.   
 
The sea-coast of Bohemia   
   Is not my resting-place,   
For with her waned from out the day
   A beauty and a grace:   
O, had I kissed her on the lips   
   I would no longer weep,   
But live by that until the day   
   I fall to shade and sleep.

First published in The Bulletin, 29 April 1899;
and then later in
The Golden Treasury of Australian Verse edited by Bertram Stevens, 1909;
The Oxford Book of Australasian Verse edited by Walter Murdoch, 1918; and
An Australasian Anthology: Australian and New Zealand Poems edited by Percival Serle, R. H. Croll and Frank Wilmot, 1927.

Author: James Hebblethwaite (1857-1921) was born in Preston, Lancashire, England, and arrived in Australia in 1890 to recover from a bout of ill-health. He taught in various Tasmanian schools before entering the Anglican ministry. He died in Hobart in 1921.

Author reference sites:
Austlit, Australian Dictionary of Bibliography

See also.

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This page contains a single entry by Perry Middlemiss published on April 29, 2011 7:59 AM.

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