Christopher John Brennan

1 November 1870 – 5 October 1932 / Sydney / Australia

The Pangs That Guard The Gates Of Joy

THE PANGS that guard the gates of joy,
the naked sword that will be kist,
how distant seem’d they to the boy,
white flashes in the rosy mist!

Ah, not where tender play was screen’d
in the light heart of leafy mirth
of that obdurate might we ween’d
that shakes the sure repose of earth.

And sudden, ’twixt a sun and sun,
the veil of dreaming is withdrawn:
lo, our disrupt dominion
and mountains solemn in the dawn;

hard paths that chase the dayspring’s white,
and glooms that hold the nether heat:
oh, strange the world upheaved from night,
oh, dread the life before our feet!
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