[Editor: This poem by John Shaw Neilson was published in Heart of Spring (1919), Ballad and Lyrical Poems (1923), and Collected Poems of John Shaw Neilson (1934).]
As Far as My Heart Can Go
I care not now for the gardens or the gayest flowers that grow:
The little flower in the firelight is as far as my heart can go.
I care not now for the long road o’er the mountains far away;
The little world that we love in is as far as my feet can stray.
No smile from me from the city! No salty call for me!
The mouth of my little sweetheart is as far as my eyes can see.
I sing no more of the red wars; I have no love for steel;
The glamour of my darling is as far as my lips can feel.
What can I know of heaven? What should a lover know?
The little face at the fireside is as far as my heart can go.
Shaw Neilson, Heart of Spring, Sydney: The Bookfellow, 1919, page 47
Also published in:
John Shaw Neilson, Ballad and Lyrical Poems, Sydney: The Bookfellow in Australia, 1923, page 63
John Shaw Neilson (edited by R. H. Croll), Collected Poems of John Shaw Neilson, Melbourne: Lothian Book Publishing Company, 1934, page 42
gay = happy, joyous, carefree; well-decorated, bright, attractive (in modern times it may especially refer to a homosexual, especially a male homosexual; can also refer to something which is no good, pathetic, useless)
o’er = (archaic) over (pronounced the same as “oar”, “or”, and “ore”)
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