The Robe of Grass by J. Le Gay Brereton

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Here lies the woven garb he wore
Of grass he gathered by the shore
   Whereon the phantom waves still fret and foam
And sigh along the visionary sand.
"Where is he now?" you cry; "What desolate land
   Gleams round him in dull mockery of home?"
You knew him by the robe he cast
About him, grey and worn at last.
   "It fades," you murmur, "changes, lives and dies.
Why has he vanished? Whither is he fled?
And is there any light among the dead?
   Can any dream come singing where he lies?"
Ah peace! lift up your clouded eyes,
Nor where this curious relic lies
   Grope in the blown dust for the print of feet.
Dim, tottering, ghastly sounds are these; but he
Laughs now as ever, still aloof and free,
   Eager and wild and passionate and fleet.
Because he has dropped the part he played,
Shall love be baffled and dismayed?
   Let the frail earth and all its visions melt,
And let the heart that loves, the eye that sees,
Seek him amid immortal mysteries,
   For lo, he dwells where he has ever dwelt.

First published in The Lone Hand, 1 May 1913;
and later in
The Oxford Book of Australasian Verse edited by Walter Murdoch, 1924; and
An Australasian Anthology: Australian and New Zealand Poems edited by Percival Serle, R. H. Croll and Frank Wilmot, 1927.

Author reference sites: Austlit, Australian Dictionary of Biography

See also.

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This page contains a single entry by Perry Middlemiss published on May 1, 2011 7:59 AM.

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