Change [poem by Louis Esson]

[Editor: This poem by Louis Esson was published in Red Gums and Other Verses (1912).]


Everything fades and passes
Like dew from the summer grasses

Thebes and Memphis of old
The dust of ages hold.
Pale scholars now adore
The Cretan Minotaur.
And wild goats penetrate
Mykene’s Lion-Gate.

The statesman plots and plans,
The tinker mends pots and pans.
Pots must be mended again,
Empires dissolve like rain.

Achilles’ noble craze
Sets Troy town in a blaze.
The thunderous hero’s glory
Will make a children’s story,
And sack of a city
The young men’s drinking ditty.

Nor Art remains, in sooth,
To check Time’s venomed tooth.
Of air sweet songs are made,
The loveliest frescoes fade.
The sculptor carves in snow,
Even great Angelo.

Father of Death and Life
Is Change, and child of Strife.

Life flows like a swift stream
A cloud, a smoke, a dream.
Our hopes and fears, they pass
Like shadows on the grass.
We learn the legend’s pith,
Man, too, is but a myth.

Louis Esson, Red Gums and Other Verses, Melbourne: Fraser & Jenkinson, 1912, pages 18-19

Speak Your Mind