In Life’s Grey Afternoon [poem by Philip Durham Lorimer]

[Editor: This poem by Philip Durham Lorimer was published in Songs and Verses by Philip Durham Lorimer: An Australian Bush Poet, 1901.]

In Life’s Grey Afternoon

’Tis not for me in life’s grey afternoon
To take my walks where I would wish to roam,
Nor yet to see the smiles which withered soon,
Arose but once around my hapless home.
Too dark for me that outlook is ahead,
For icy are its silent evening bars,
The lips of song that cheered me once are dead
And o’er me voiceless are the midnight stars.

The winds rush on and know I’m trembling here,
With my Farewell to them upon my heart.
They haste along, but all my sighs they hear
With their last words to me “In peace, depart !”
With their wild breath so deep impressed with mine,
So fond embraced by me as they swept by,
In younger days when I had built a shrine
In heart, that welcomed them, when drawing nigh.

Away from men where minds cannot reply
To warmth of soul outside the robes they wear,
I lift my heart to all that courts the eye,
But ah, all loveliness is now so bare.
Not so, but sight is dimmed to outward gaze
And strength, but partly mine, all helpless lies
In afternoons of cloudy wintry days
Unloved, yet full of love when love replies.

Cowra, January 1, 1895.

E. A. Petherick (editor). Songs and Verses by Philip Durham Lorimer: An Australian Bush Poet, William Clowes and Sons, London, 1901, pages 148-149

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