The Land I Came Thro' Last by Christopher Brennan

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The land I came thro' last was dumb with night,
a limb of defeated glory, a ghost:
for wreck of constellations flicker'd perishing
scarce sustain'd in the mortuary air,
and on the ground and out of livid pools
wreck of old swords and crowns glimmer'd at whiles;
I seem'd at home in some old dream of kingship;
now it is clear grey day and the road is plain,
I am the wanderer of many years
who cannot tell if ever he was king
or if ever kingdoms were: I known I am
the wanderer of the ways of all the worlds,
to whom the sunshine and the rain are one
and one to stay or hasten, becasu ehe knows
no ending of the way, no home, no goal,
and phantom night and the grey day alike
withhold the heart where all my dreams and days
might faint in soft fire and delicious death:
and saying this to myself as a simple thing
I feel a peace fall in the heart of the winds
and a clear dusk settle, somewhere, far in me.

First published in The Bulletin, 21 January 1915;
and later in
Poetry in Australia 1923;
The Verse of Christopher Brennan edited by A.R. Chisholm and John Quinn, 1960;
From the Ballads to Brennan edited by T. Inglis Moore, 1964;
Poems [1913] by Christopher Brennan, 1972;
Selected Poems edited by G. A. Wilkes, 1973;
The Golden Apples of the Sun: Twentieth Century Australian Poetry edited by Chris Wallace-Crabbe, 1980;
The Collins Book of Australian Poetry compiled by Rodney Hall, 1981;
Cross-Country: A Book of Australian Verse edited by John Barnes and Brian McFarlane, 1984;
Christopher Brennan edited by Terry Sturm, 1984;
Two Centuries of Australian Poetry edited by Mark O'Connor, 1988;
Australian Poetry in the Twentieth Century edited by Robert Gray and Geoffrey Lehmann, 1991;
Australian Verse: An Oxford Anthology edited by John Leonard, 1998; and
Macquarie PEN Anthology of Australian Literature edited by Nicholas Jose, Kerryn Goldsworthy, Anita Heiss, David McCooey, Peter Minter, Nicole Moore and Elizabeth Webby, 2009.

Note: this poem was also known by the title The Wanderer: 1902 - 99.

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 January 21, 2012 8:20 AM.

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