Beauty remains, whatever goes,
However sad we grow, or old.
The oft-sung sweetness of a rose,
The richness of a marigold;
Still she is there, though all things pass,
Where ere the fingers of the breeze
Go ruffling through the gold-ripe grass,
Or shake the sunshowers from the trees.
Pale evening spreads her banner proud,
Though in the dust our own lie low.
Peak beyond peak, seeking the cloud
Out to the blue the ranges go.
All stained with saffron daffodils;
Ah, when my spirit faints with pain
I shall lift up unto the hills
Mine eyes, to gather strength again.
Small, downy ghosts, all silvery frail,
The seedling dandelions blow,
Spun softly down a summer gale
On tremendous wings of air they go.
Ruffling her sombre gown of grey
The whispering poplar greets the wind.
Oh, turn you any, either way,
And beauty's badge is yours to find.
Bright unsubstantial fairylands
In the lone valley's ferny aisles,
I see where night's invisible hands
Pour the white moon mists, miles on miles.
And summon a starry host to fling
Enchantment like a veil unfurled,
Like Easter candles glimmering
On all the altars of the world.
The little things that mean so much.
The tiny Edens of an hour--
They fall to pieces at a touch
Like poppies that the winds deflower;
Even the great things shadowing all.
The lonely, dark Gethsemanes,
All in the dust at last must fall,
Just dead, discarded memories.
Beauty alone remains though all
The trifles that make up our hours
Of happiness like dead leaves fall
In the spent gold of autumn showers,
Bankrupt of all, I still could find
Happiness pure and undefiled
Hearing her voices on the wind,
Walking beside her o'er the wild.
First published in The Brisbane Courier, 13 April 1929