Fettered by Mabel Forrest

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Elma chides because she says
   That my love has faded;
And her bodice heaves with sighs
And she sadly pouts and cries,
Looks on me with tear-dimmed eyes
   By long lashes shaded.

Thinks that if she threatens thus
   I will grow the fonder
Of the lips that call for kisses,
Arms that offer all the blisses,
(What a wealth of true love this is
   For a man to squander!)

Elma vows I am foresworn
   Fondling her no longer;
Sweetheart, if you only knew
More than half your words are true,
For I do not think of you --
   Other loves are stronger.

But 'tis not for other faces
   That my love grows colder,
I am false for far grey skies,
Where blue peaks of mountains rise,
And forget the girl who lies
   Warm against my shoulder.

I forget her in the dreaming
   Of a man's life only,
Where no woman hands are clinging,
And no syren voices singing,
Hoofs upon a hard road ringing,
   And a bush track lonely!

Clear horizons clipped in morning,
   Mists about the valley;
Strike the event and up! away!
In the warm, delicious day,
Men together, strong and gay,
   Tracking through the mallee.

There's the rival if you will,
   Girl so full of scorning;
Not another woman's gaze,
Wandering in forbidden ways,
Just the dear, lost boyish days,
   And my life's lost morning.

First published in The Bulletin, 3 March 1904;
and later in
Alpha Centauri by Mabel Forrest, 1909.

Author reference sites: AustlitAustralian Dictionary of Biography

See also.

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