Springtides Lost by Christopher Brennan

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Spring-ripple of green along the way,
keen plash of aery waves that play,
and in my heart
thy dreamy smart, O distant day!

Oh whisper hidden in the spring
of days when soul and song took wing
beneath her eyes,
twin smiling skies bent listening.

Oh cruel spell the season weaves!
heart-piercing smell of smoky eves,
all, all is old!
ironic gold that but deceives!

Strange spring, wilt only make me mourn?
Ah, for thy grace is overworn!
we are the ghost
of spring-tides lost and singing morn!

First published
in The Australian Magazine, 6 July 1899;
and later in
The Verse of Christopher Brennan edited by A.R. Chisholm and John Quinn, 1960;
Poems [1913] by Christopher Brennan, 1972;
Selected Poems edited by G. A. Wilkes, 1973; and
Christopher Brennan edited by Terry Sturm, 1984.

Note: this poem was also known by the title "Towards the Source: 1894-97: 24".

Author: Christopher John Brennan (1870-1932) was born in Sydney to Irish immigrants.  He survived an early bout of typhoid and was destined for the priesthood until a love of poetry overtook him.  He studied at the University of Sydney, and in Berlin (1892-94) under a scholarship.  Brennan married in 1897 - later dissolved in 1922 - and was appointed to an academic post at the University of Sydney in 1909.  He was dismissed from this post in 1925 due to his "adulterous" behaviour and he took up a teaching job at a private school, where he remained until his death in 1932.

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

See also.

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This page contains a single entry by Perry Middlemiss published on July 6, 2011 7:47 AM.

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