Darrell by Will H. Ogilvie

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So I've taken his hundred notes in the end,
   And now, as I turn them over,
I feel like a man who's been false to a friend,
   Or has broken his troth to a lover.
And what will they purchase, when all is said,
   For me with the world's wealth laden?
A barrel or two of Kaludah red,
   Or the favor of some light maiden!
Our wine turns gall at the gray day's birth
   When the lamp of the revel paleth;
We know what the kiss of a woman is worth --
   But a good horse never faileth.
Your white arms clinging, my ringless bride,
   Are bonds that the years will sever;
But the brave hoof-thunder of Darrell's stride
   Will beat in my heart for ever!
You know how little of truth there lies
   In the heart of your hot caresses,
There is danger hid in your dreamful eyes,
   There is death in your winding tresses;
And, since you would turn for a fairer face
   Or a stronger arm's enfolding,
You will never hold in my heart the place
   That one honest horse is holding.

The stars are fading by one and one
   And the fires of the dawn are lightening
The web that a pitiless fate has spun,
   And my own cursed hand is tightening;
Oh! better this arm had lost its force,
   This brain in the dust lain idle,
Before I bartered the grandest horse
   That ever carried a bridle!

First published in The Bulletin, 5 October 1895;
and later in
Fair Girls and Grey Horses: With Other Verses by Will H. Ogilvie, 1958.

Author reference sites: Austlit, Australian Dictionary of Biography

See also.

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This page contains a single entry by Perry Middlemiss published on October 5, 2012 7:22 AM.

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