Through Wild Beast Wood by Dulcie Deamer

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The path lies upward. . . Sometimes there seems none.
   And then one stands like a sleep-walker stayed
By the stark leavings of murder done --
   A rigid thing in unseen blood arrayed. 

And an amazement ghastlier than fear
   Descends. . . What now? These trees, tall as the sky,
Blacker than darkness, are so still, so near,
   That, in this circle, will and movement die.

Wind with a scent of wolves goes sidelong past;
   And that's the rotten-sweetness of hid death. 
Comfort me with Thy rod and staff at last,
   Oh, Spirit! Or is that decay Thy breath?

Where is the path that leads from Wild Beast Wood?
   My sword is broken, and my guide is night. 
How shall the lustful panther be withstood?
   Mortality speaks softly left and right.

Death has me utterly. Oh. Dragon-dark.
   Seize -- make an end! Despair has closed my eyes.
And still no touch or whisper. . . . Ah -- but, hark!
   What dew of voices dropping from the skies. 

With "Gloria in excelsls"? -- and the trees,
   Each an archangel robed in midnight blue, 
And wolf and panther fawning at the knees  
   Of her who holds up Life for death to view!

First published in The Sydney Morning Herald, 1 December 1934

Author reference sites: AustlitAustralian Dictionary of Biography

See also.

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This page contains a single entry by Perry Middlemiss published on December 1, 2012 8:39 AM.

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