Otahai [poem by E. J. Brady]

[Editor: This poem by E. J. Brady was published in The Earthen Floor (1902).]



On the beach at Otahai
You remember, you and I,
And the rollers on the bars,
And the moonlight and the stars —
On that beach at Otahai
You’ll remember, — you and I.

What’s the use a sailor loving?
Round the world for ever roving;
What’s the use to think or care,
Keep or lose or hold or share?
What’s the use to laugh or sing
What’s the good of anything?

But the wind was in your hair,
And your face was sunset fair,
And I saw the starlit skies
Mirrored in your dreaming eyes,
As the night went laughing by
On that beach at Otahai.

Then the leaves like lace hung down
From the sleeping palm tree’s crown;
Then we heard the sea birds call,
Heard the night tide rise and fall —
Loving, dreaming, you and I,
On the beach at Otahai.

Ah! that warm, white, night perfumed
When the rollers broke and boomed,
When our hearts were beating so,
Ah! that night of long ago!
Ah! that night — and you and I
On the beach at Otahai!

Still the palm trees dance and sway
In the moonlight far away;
Still the sea birds dip and call,
Still the long tides rise and fall;
Still the laughing night goes by
On the beach at Otahai.

Life is ashes! Even so
For that night of long ago —
All the days I have to live,
Ah, so freely would I give —
For that night and you and I,
On the beach at Otahai.

What’s the use a sailor loving,
Round the world forever roving?
What’s the good to laugh or sing?
What’s the good to-day, to-morrow,
Life or Death, or Joy or Sorrow —
What’s the good of anything?

E. J. Brady, The Earthen Floor, Grafton (N.S.W.): Grip Newspaper Co., 1902

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