Rest by Ella McFadyen

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Blue seas above my head-blue seas of sky,
Margined with shores of thin translucent leaves --
Green coats of fancy! An adventurer I,  
In a high world where nothing stays nor grieves
The full-blown sail of happy fantasy,
For toil lets slip what idleness retrieves.
My head on earth's kind pillow, and my soul
Loosed like a bird. The fretted irtaies lean
Across the gulf where never cloudy shoal
Troubles the zeniths deep of blue serene,
But with slack tiller ships of fancy roll
From shore to shore of the inverted scene.
Above me. . . But is there beneath, above,
Or past or present, in this deep still pool,
Where thoughts, like fishes through the coral-grove,
Dart Instant, and are drunk into the cool
Deep shadows of rest, bright filaments that rove,
Fanciful shoals, a vaguely glimmering school.
The quiet hath confessed me and aneals
My blindness, till the soul with walls of glass
The immanent crowding life beholds, and feels
Birth, marriage-flight and burial come to pass,
(Where death is but the shade life's light reveals)
Each hour amid the immeasured, murmurous grass.
Somewhere a bird tells beads of golden song
The silence takes and in her bosom lays,
Their tremulous, golden mystery to prolong,
And utter peace translated is to praise,
As minutes pass, a velvet-footed throng ---
Ah, God be thanked for length of summer days.

(Irtaies -- i.e., in aboriginal dialect, the giant nettle-trees of the Big Scrub.)

First published in The Sydney Morning Herald, 5 March 1932

Author reference site: Austlit

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This page contains a single entry by Perry Middlemiss published on March 5, 2012 8:18 AM.

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