Lament for Early Buttercups [poem by John Shaw Neilson]

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

Lament for Early Buttercups

The lambs are white and lavender, the frost is with the moon,
The mushrooms go to God and say they cannot die so soon:
Oh, they would see the love-works of the birds sent up to sing!
And I — I mourn for buttercups that stay not till the Spring.

Oh, that they were adventuring in long November days
When barley-tips are in the dance to every wind that plays,
When old birds lose all that they love and young birds feel the wing:
I mourn — I mourn for buttercups that stay not till the Spring.

Oh, had their gold delayed until the last moon of the year
When maids bedeck themselves and say that princes will appear,
They would have loved with a warm love the birds sent up to sing:
I mourn — I mourn for buttercups that stay not till the Spring.



Source:
John Shaw Neilson (editor: R. H. Croll), Collected Poems of John Shaw Neilson, Melbourne: Lothian Publishing Company, 1934 [May 1949 reprint], pages 142

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