[Editor: This poem by Philip Durham Lorimer was published in Songs and Verses by Philip Durham Lorimer: An Australian Bush Poet, 1901.]
I Cannot Sing, My Love, To-Day
I cannot sing, my love, to-day,
There is a darkness o’er
The vision of my spirit, which
I ne’er have felt before.
As flowerets droop ’neath Autumn’s breath
Or pine ’neath Summer’s shower,
My soul is silent — voiceless now.
Oh ! Where’s its youthful power ?
’Twas with the morn, love, darkness fled,
Night’s dream of grief was o’er ;
A cloud may linger o’er thy path.
And bring thee joy once more ;
But with the day, love, it will flee.
Life has its ruthless shower ;
’Twill leave a pleasantness on thee,
As on the Spring-tide flower.
I cannot sing, my love, to-day.
My lyre has slackened string ;
Old age is creeping o’er me now,
And past is life’s glad Spring.
And oh ! my Altering notes are choked
With love’s impassioned sighs ;
While tears of sadness — oh ! those tears,
They dim my failing eyes.
’Tis Winter, love — the forest wild
Lists to the mournful breeze ;
No more, no more the blackbird sings
Among the leafless trees ;
But ever through the glist’ning boughs,
On memory’s golden wing,
I hear the echo of his song.
Sweet echo of the Spring.
So with thy voice at evening still.
My fancy hears it yet :
The golden tone of Summer now
I never can forget.
Borne on the breeze of Winter, when
All round is chill and grey :
Through leafless boughs I’ll listen for
The echo of thy lay.
Kilmorey, December 12, 1869.
E. A. Petherick (editor). Songs and Verses by Philip Durham Lorimer: An Australian Bush Poet, William Clowes and Sons, London, 1901, pages 78-79