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The Spike: or, Victoria University College Review, June 1929


page 20


Let us not mourn for all the mighty things
That pass away in majesty from Earth.
High anger's pride, the songs that valour sings,
The fallen pomp of queens and courts and kings—
Regard them not: their requiems have no dearth.

But let us rather mourn for things unseen
By those whose wisdom breedeth not delight;
Who feel no wonder that the leaves are green,
And care not where the wakeful owl has been
Through all the lonely vistas of the night.

For these than shall we mourn: for gathered flowers
Who pray that death may bring unwounded ease—
In which to dream of sun-enchanted hours,
Or fragrance-laden winds and cooling showers,
And nuptial visits from o'erpowering bees;

For morning cobwebs silver-starred with drew
Whose beauty soon is yielded to the sun;
And for the sun himself, who hides from view,
And gives himself to sleep, as squirrels do
When summer days and hazel-nuts are done;

For melodies whose music dies unheard
Except unto the lover's ear alone:
For songs that surge with word on fleeting word
So swiftly through a heart so strangely stirred
That when the hand would write them—they are gone.

Small tragedy there is in joys that die
If in remembered ecstasy they live.
But when their loveliness escapes the eye,
And leaves us but forgotten harmony—
What boon but sorrow may their lover give?

So therefore shall we mourn the joys that pass
Unknown, unheard of—save for such as we,
Who travel highways insect-hewn through grass.
And hear the willows breathe their soft "Alas!"
By age-old rivers eager for the sea.