Beauty by Kathleen Dalziel

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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

Author reference site: Austlit

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This page contains a single entry by Perry Middlemiss published on April 13, 2014 10:52 AM.

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