Golden Fugitive [poem by John Shaw Neilson]

[Editor: This poem by John Shaw Neilson was published in Beauty Imposes: Some Recent Verse (1938).]

Golden Fugitive

To a departing Smoker Parrot

Moonlight and sunrise ran about your wing,
Lightning and sundown, every joy in yellow
Came for your raiment and your comforting,
Oh, most victorious fellow.

Beauty was yours, all beauty folly fed,
Quickening for love with every old misgiving,
Deep as the faint remembrance of the dead
Called half-way to the living.

Joy was upon you that of old was planned
Over the gentle hill, the flowery hollow;
Lightly you gave enchantment to the land,
Where no dull man could follow.

Down the green honey you came out in gold,
You could not see the tempest of to-morrow,
Nor the approach of man, tyrant of old,
With espionage and sorrow.

Man with his axe, his old contentious plough,
Grieves in the dust, a grey ungracious fellow;
He who has warred with Heaven, can he allow
Faint emperors in yellow?

NOTE. The wholesale destruction of timber in the Mallee, which has brought about terrific dust-storms now almost threatening to drive the settlers off the land, has also been the cause of the departure of many birds.

Shaw Neilson, Beauty Imposes: Some Recent Verse, Sydney: Angus & Robertson, 1938, pages 24-25

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