Dreams, Empty Dreams by F. Bennett

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I ponder the problem of Being
   As onward the good steamer goes,
Each billow seems big with a secret
   'Tis bursting its breast to disclose.

It heaves up a green, swollen bosom --
   When it bursts what shall then be revealed?
The answer to Life's dark Enigma?
   The key to a mystery sealed?

The form of a loved one long buried
   And jealously kept from our eyes
Where, dotted with coral for headstones,
   A submarine "God's acre" lies?

I lean out with startled eyes staring,
   I crane from the netting above,
For there, gazing fixedly upward,
   I see the gray eyes of my Love!   

Say, is it the thoughts of the absent
   That shine in my wondering eyes,
And mirror themselves in the ocean,
   In billows that swellingly rise?

The propeller has churned it to chaos,
   The picture is lost from my sight
To form in the next swelling greenness
   And die in the screw-tortured white.

It fails, and, despairing, drops downward,
   Its foam hides both secret and key,
I, thoughtful, return to my cabin ---
   The billow drives on o'er the sea.

I'll weary no more o'er the problem,
   The creeds and the theories crude;
Expectations they raise like the billow,
   And tantalise but to delude.

Like Man, o'er an Infinite Ocean,
   The billows have tirelessly pressed.
May he, like the waves, find a coastline,
   A margin, a haven, a Rest!  

First published
in The Queenslander, 9 July 1898

Author: Frederick Bennett was a teacher in Queensland in the 1890s and was appointed headmaster of Toowong State School in 1909 where he remained until he retired in 1934.

Author reference site: Austlit

See also.

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This page contains a single entry by Perry Middlemiss published on July 9, 2012 9:07 AM.

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