You, and Yellow Air by John Shaw Neilson

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I dream of an old kissing-time
   And the flowered follies there;
In the dim place of cherry-trees,
   Of you, and yellow air.

It was an age of babbling,
   When the players would play
Mad with the wine and miracles
   Of a charmed holiday.

Bewildered was the warm earth
   With whistling and sighs,
And a young foal spoke all his heart
   With diamonds for eyes.

You were of Love's own colour
   In eyes and heart and hair;
In the dim place of cherry-trees
   Ridden by yellow air.

It was the time when red lovers
   With the red fevers burn;
A time of bells and silver seeds
   And cherries on the turn.

Children looked into tall trees
   And old eyes looked behind;
God in His glad October
   No sullen man could find.

Out of your eyes a magic
   Fell lazily as dew,
And every lad with lad's eyes
   Made summer love to you.

It was a reign of roses,
   Of blue flowers for the eye,
And the rustling of green girls
   Under a white sky.

I dream of an old kissing-time
   And the flowered follies there,
In the dim place of cherry-trees,
   Of you, and yellow air.

First published in The Sun [Sydney], 4 September 1910;
and later in
The Bookfellow, October 1912;
The Worker, 31 July 1919;
Poetry in Australia 1923;
Collected Poems of John Shaw Neilson by John Shaw Neilson, 1934;
Poems by John Shaw Neilson, 1964;
Australian Letters, 4 September 1964;
Green Days and Cherries: the early verses of Shaw Neilson edited by Hugh Anderson and Leslie James Blake, 1981;
This Australia, Spring 1985;
My Country: Australian Poetry and Short Stories, Two Hundred Years edited by Leonie Kramer, 1985;
Australian Poetry in the Twentieth Century edited by Robert Gray and Geoffrey Lehmann, 1991;
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;
The Australian, 5 January 1994;
Australian Verse: An Oxford Anthology edited by John Leonard 1998;
Hell and After: Four Early English Language Poets of Australia edited by Les Murray, 2005; and
The Puncher & Wattmann Anthology of Australian Poetry
edited by John Leonard, 2009.

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 September 4, 2012 8:52 AM.

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