In the Dim Counties [poem by John Shaw Neilson]

[Editor: This poem by John Shaw Neilson was published in Collected Poems of John Shaw Neilson (1934).]

In the Dim Counties

In the dim counties
we take the long calm
Lilting no haziness,
sequel or psalm.

The little street wenches,
The holy and clean,
Live as good neighbours live
under the green.

Malice of sunbeam or
menace of moon
Piping shall leave us
no taste of a tune.

In the dim counties
the eyelids are dumb,
To the lean citizens
Love cannot come.

Love in the yellowing,
Love at the turn,
Love o’ the cooing lip —
how should he burn?

The little street wenches,
the callous, unclean
— Could they but tell us what
all the gods mean.

Love cannot sabre us,
blood cannot flow,
In the dim counties
that wait us below.



Source:
John Shaw Neilson (editor: R. H. Croll), Collected Poems of John Shaw Neilson, Melbourne: Lothian Publishing Company, 1934 [May 1949 reprint], pages 102-103

Speak Your Mind

*