Surely God was a Lover by John Shaw Neilson

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Surely God was a lover when He bade the day begin
Soft as a woman's eyelid -- white as a woman's skin.

Surely God was a lover, with a lover's faults and fears,
When He made the sea as bitter as a wilful woman's tears.

Surely God was a lover, with the madness love will bring:
He wrought while His love was singing, and put her soul in the Spring.

Surely God was a lover, by a woman's wile controlled,
When He made the Summer a woman thirsty and unconsoled.

Surely God was a lover when He made the trees so fair;
In every leaf is a glory caught from a woman's hair.

Surely God was a lover -- see, in the flowers He grows,
His love's eyes in the violet -- her sweetness in the rose.

First published
in The Sun [Sydney], 9 October 1910;
and later in
The Bookfellow, 15 July 1914;
Collected Poems of John Shaw Neilson by John Shaw Neilson, 1934;
An Introduction to Australian Literature edited by C.D. Narasimhaiah, 1965;
Green Days and Cherries: the early verses of Shaw Neilson edited by Hugh Anderson and Leslie James Blake, 1981;
An Anthology of Australian Poetry edited by C.D. Narasimhaiah, 1990;
John Shaw Neilson: Poetry, Autobiography and Correspondence edited by Cliff Hanna, 1991;
Selected Poems edited by Robert Gray, 1993; and
Hell and After: Four Early English Language Poets of Australia edited by Les Murray, 2005.

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 October 9, 2012 7:34 AM.

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