When I Was Born by Mabel Forrest

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When I was born they might have closed the windows of the room,
Have shut out gardens deep enrosed, and glossed magnolia bloom;
The warm white buds that on their lips, altho' the day was done, 
Still keep the thin gold arrow-tips they have filched from the sun, 
The love of suns, of greeting springs, was birthright to my soul.

When I was born they might have drawn a curtain o'er the pane,  
For in the blue sky till the dawn a full white moon did reign;
A large-eyed Venus is the moon clasped round by cloud above,  
She gives to babes a doubtful boon, the gift of passionate love.  

When I was born they might have stilled that wild brown bird that sings,  
His reckless heart by music filled, with rhythm on his wings,  
Ere, fitting to the lattice sill, thro' the warm, moon-washed air,  
Down to my ear he bent to trill and dropt a feather there;  
And made me his, by no calm choice -- soul-fettered and fate-bound,  
Wringing my heart for that true note which but by pain is found.  

When I was born a trumpet bloom cast forth it's almond breath,
A blossom pale against the gloom, a slim white perfumed death;  
Great Java lily buds that start, far in the jungled south,  
Would they had pressed its poisoned heart above my helpless mouth!  

When I was born they might have closed the windows of the room,  
Have shut out garden walks enrosed and glossed magnolia bloom;  
Have shut out hints of dewy morn, the pulsing green and blow,  
For all my days I feel the thorns, who loved the roses so;  
But open was the room to skies and heavy life-filled air,  
And in the grass were fire-flies and flowers everywhere.  

My mother liked the shutters wide, she liked to smell the flow'rs;  
She liked to see the planets ride thro' the long waiting hours;
She liked to see the stir begin about the gates of morn;
She did not know that grief slipped in, the night that I was born.

First published in The Australasian, 9 October 1909

Author reference sites: AustlitAustralian Dictionary of Biography

See also

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This page contains a single entry by Perry Middlemiss published on October 9, 2014 7:10 AM.

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