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"Pearls for Tears" by Lola Gornall

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A diver, to the deep sea's continent,
Hungry and footsore, desolately went
Plunging his life beneath a treacherous tide,
Blinded, groping, and without a guide ....

He went for bread, and for his life's sweet sake,
Taking the risk that all pearl-divers take --
Only to him were known the sea's dark fears --
(The superstitious say that pearls mean tears!) ....

Strange that through perils must all pearls be bought
To gratify a woman's careless thought,
Clinging about her skin till its pink snow     
Rivals in beauty their moon-pallid glow!

Pearls for a kiss ... Pearls for a worthless smile ....
So are they bartered every little while --
Nothing consoles the tears of their despair  
What though a princess wears them in her hair!

First published in The Brisbane Courier, 17 May 1930

Author reference site: Austlit

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