Roderic Quinn

1867 - 1949 / Australia

Irony

ALL night a great wind blew across the land,
Come fresh from wild and salty seas,
With many voices loud and low
Appealing to the sympathies
Of those with whom long, long ago
It had been friends, but who
Had lost the way to know and understand
Its weird and tearless woe.
A sleeper, drawn from ancient fancies, stirred,
And strangely breathed in deep unrest
As though his heart were choked with grief;
The moon down-stealing in the west
Threw every move of limb and leaf
Upon his blind. Now this
Was he the wind sought wildly, had he heard —
Alas, the friend was deaf!
All time a great Thought wandered round the world
Naked and breathing loveliness,
Seeking in alien souls a home
And thwarted, yet a-seek no less
At every door, till forced to roam
A wonder unexpressed:
A sense of strangeness, as of wings unfurled,
Hovered at times o'er some.
He heard the knocking at the inner door;
He saw her face a light intense,
And stood amazed, irresolute.
'Now, thou who hast the poet-sense
In song serene and absolute
Proclaim my hidden worth!'
He sobbed; she drooped her wings . . .Woe evermore!
The chosen mind was mute.
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