An ebb-tide, falling, bared the white,
Hard beach; where, in the sun,
I walked betimes, in mood to write
Of all my knowledge won,
From life and death, one song which might
At least be finely done.
The sun, resplendent, in its sky,
O’er-arching burned. Ablaze
With gold the hours went by,
As, witched within their silken maze —
By life’s mid fountains dreaming — I
Drank deep that day of days.
This pageant of creation seemed
More vivid on the scroll
Of Being writ. Like watch fires gleamed
Great thoughts. With Amazonian roll,
Clear floods of higher vision streamed,
Deep-watered, through my soul.
Rare words on rhythm — like to spheres
Pearl-clustered at the springs
Of space — re-echoed in my ears;
Or homing birds that fold their wings
When each in downward passage nears
Its garden of glad things.
Rare thoughts befel, as moths that low
O’er star-lit petals poise;
Or fireflies in the night which glow
The message of their joys
In quiet groves beyond this show
Of empty strife and noise.
Thus, to and fro on buoyant feet
I paced to make a song
Triumphant, that for aye might beat
On eagle wings along;
The hearts of men, in couplets sweet
And resonant and strong.
The day — one day from all the tale
Of days that come and go —
Was ended. Now, amort, with pale,
Spent majesty aglow;
And blood upon his golden mail,
The kingly sun lay low.
I turned, and lo! along the laced
Sands, creeping slow, with spite
Of seeming purpose; all my traced
Proud steps of effort bright
The flood, incoming, had erased,
And left me — with the night.
E. J. Brady, Bells and Hobbles, Melbourne: George Robertson & Co., 1911, pp. 160-161