Masts Over the Housetops by Lance Fallaw

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Tall masts that stand where the highways meet, 
What place for you in a builded street?

For you were born in the forest's lap,
And clothed in sunshine and fed with sap, 
And bathed as you grew in that finer sea, 
The dim, green air that enfolds a tree;
Till you held your head with your peers at last,
And your woven shadows below you cast.
Now you are dead. Some doom has bound you 
Here by the wharf, with the housetops round you.

You can never go back to the forest ways,
But there's still a pathway where leaps and plays
The wild wave closing, for ever cleft.
Spread, spread your wings -- there is one life left.
You shall breathe again of a salter blow
Than the tops of Nordic headlands know. 
You shall see yourselves in a nobler pool 
Than ever was laid in woodlands cool.
You shall triumph and toil, you shall stagger and strain;
You shall live, you shall live, you shall live again.

Spread your canvas, loose from the pier.
Walls, windows, roofs -- what place for your here?

First published in The Sydney Morning Herald, 28 November 1931

Author reference sites: Austlit

See also.

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This page contains a single entry by Perry Middlemiss published on November 28, 2012 8:42 AM.

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