To Lucasta, Going to the Warres by Furnley Maurice

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Better the end of a thing
   Than the beginning thereof;
Farewell, you and caresses,
   Lavendered manners of love!
I'm for the burdens and stresses:
   Farewell, languid delays,
Pressed mouths pasturing,
   Poems of wondrous praise!

There's no mystery brooding
   Now on your excellent ways:
sunlight has gone from your hair,
   Stars have recalled your gaze.
You, though eternally fair,
   Lie at my heart like a stone,
All your ardor and mooding
   Ranged, exploited and known.

Better the end of a thing
   Than the beginning, my friend.
Better be patient than proud.
   Patience! Accept the end:
Scorn what your passion avowed.
   That was mere clamor and wail:
Pain is our stanchioning.
   Only irresolutes fail.

Not by a God-given light,
   Flaring on fates concealed --
Trial's the magic whereby
   Heights of our fate are revealed.
Stifle your heart should it cry,
   Hold your resentment at bay;
What is the word for to-night?
   Hate, hate and away.

Turn to lost things and forget
   When this spectre of wrong
Storms through a shattered defence,
   Lashes your flesh with a thong.
Moan your lost innocence --
   Love with ambition contending,
Love in its dying set,
   Stars at the highway's ending.

All that is sacred is named,
   Unknown regions are best,
Useless things I adore
   Trouble me, being possessed.
Taunt me with peace no more,
   Weary of home-fires tended,
These have left me ashamed,
   Yearning for ways unwended.

You have become too real,
   Love I so heavily rue.
All that has blossomed must die;
   Only illusion is true.
Uttered thought is a lie,
   Love, acknowledged, a snare;
In this dusk I will steal
   Out to I know not where.

Better the placid sea-love
   Than the cities of haste.
Better revolt than retract.
   Better be blasted than waste;
Better the dream than the fact,
   Illusions can seldom change.
Dreamers in strangeness move
   Knowing nothing is strange.

First published in The Bulletin, 31 July 1924

Author reference sites: Austlit, Australian Dictionary of Biography

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This page contains a single entry by Perry Middlemiss published on July 31, 2012 11:41 AM.

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