Song be Delicate by John Shaw Neilson

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Let your song be delicate.
   The skies declare
No war --- the eyes of lovers
   Wake everywhere.

Let your voice be delicate.
   How faint a thing
Is Love, little Love crying
   Under the Spring.

Let your song be delicate.
   The flowers can hear:
Too well they know the tremble,
   Of the hollow year.

Let your voice be delicate.
   The bees are home:
All their day's love is sunken
   Safe in the comb.

Let your song be delicate.
   Sing no loud hymn:
Death is abroad ... oh, the black season!
   The deep --- the dim!

First published in The Bookfellow, 15 November 1913;
and later in
Poetry in Australia 1923;
An Australasian Anthology: Australian and New Zealand Poems edited by Percival Serle, R. H. Croll and Frank Wilmot, 1927;
Collected Poems of John Shaw Neilson by John Shaw Neilson, 1934;
A Book of Australian Verse edited by Judith Wright, 1956;
From the Ballads to Brennan edited by T. Inglis Moore, 1964;
The Penguin Book of Australian Verse edited by Harry Heseltine, 1972;
The Golden Apples of the Sun: Twentieth Century Australian Poetry edited by Chris Wallace-Crabb, 1980;
Green Days and Cherries: the early verses of Shaw Neilson edited by Hugh Anderson and Leslie James Blake, 1981;
Cross-Country: A Book of Australian Verse edited by John Barnes, 1984;
The Illustrated Treasury of Australian Verse edited by Beatrice Davis, 1984;
My Country: Australian poetry and Short Stories, Two Hundred Years edited by Leonie Kramer, 1985;
Two Centuries of Australian Poetry edited by Mark O'Connor, 1988;
John Shaw Neilson: Poetry, Autobiography and Correspondence edited by Cliff Hanna, 1991;
The Oxford Book of Australian Love Poems edited by Jennifer Strauss, 1993;
Selected Poems edited by Robert Gray, 1993;
A Return to Poetry 2000, edited by Michael Duffy, 2000;
Our Country: Classic Australian Poetry: From the Colonial Ballads to Paterson & Lawson edited by Michael Cook, 2004;
Hell and After: Four Early English Language Poets of Australia edited by Les Murray, 2005;
Southerly, Vol. 68, No.3, 2008; and
100 Australian Poems of Love and Loss edited by Jamie Grant, 2011.

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 November 15, 2011 6:33 AM.

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