Slaves to ourselves, and shackled each to each,
We strive and struggle for things out of reach.
Thro' loops of dreams we see the shores of Hope,
Whereon repose the things for which we grope.
Lives within lives, we muddle on and on,
Scarce knowing friend or foe, till each is gone,
Born out of darkness, back to it we go,
Nor dare to wonder why it should be so.
Caught in the snare of Circumstance and Fate,
We close the roadway to our real estate
By fence and gate. Our souls, behind the lock
Of doors we close, scarce ever hear a knock.
Yet stars that spin in riddles o'er our heads
Promise us other worlds. We pause in dread,
Too much afraid to venture forth alone.
We wait for others and remain unknown.
So doubting, dreaming, blind, we lose our way,
While those who might have helped pass day by day.
Fast in our shell of self we shrink, we die,
And in the dust we spurned forgotten lie.
First published in Queensland Figaro, 10 May 1924