Sunday, May 13, 2012

Sun and Rain and Dew from Heaven

 Sun and rain and dew from heaven,
Light and shade and air,
Heat and moisture freely given,
Thorns and thistles share.
Vegetation rank and rotten
Feels the cheering ray;
Not uncared for, unforgotten,
We, too, have our day.
Unforgotten! though we cumber
Earth, we work His will.
Shall we sleep through night’s long slumber,
Unforgotten still?
Onward! onward! toiling ever,
Weary steps and slow,
Doubting oft, despairing never,
To the goal we go!

Hark! the bells on distant cattle
Waft across the range,
Through the golden-tufted wattle,
Music low and strange;
Like the marriage peal of fairies
Comes the tinkling sound,
Or like chimes of sweet St. Mary’s
On for English ground.
How my courser champs the snaffle,
And with nostrils spread,
Snorts and scarcely seems to ruffle
Fern leaves with his tread;
Cool and pleasant on his haunches
Blows an evening breeze,
Through the overhanging branches
Of the wattle trees:
Onward! to the Southern Ocean,
Glides the breath of Spring,
Onward, with a dreamy motion,
I, too, glide and sing--
Forward! forward! still we wander--
Tinted hills that lie
In the red horizon yonder--
Is the goal so nigh?

Whisper, spring-wind, softly singing,
Whisper in my ear;
Respite and nepenthe bringing,
Can the goal be near?
Laden with the dew of vespers,
From the fragrant sky,
In my ear the wind that whispers
Seems to make reply--

“Question not, but live and labor
Till yon goal be won,
Helping every feeble neighbor,
Seeking help from none;
Life is mostly froth and bubble,
Two things stand like stone--
KINDNESS in another’s trouble,
COURAGE in your own.”

Courage, comrades, this is certain
All is for the best--
There are lights behind the curtain--
Gentles let us rest.
As the smoke-rack veers to seaward,
From “the ancient clay,”
With its moral drifting leeward,
Ends the wanderer’s lay.

-Adam Lindsay Gordon

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