Ta-Mahinna [poem by Marie E. J. Pitt]

[Editor: This poem by Marie E. J. Pitt was published in The Horses of the Hills and Other Verses (1911).]


Moon islands out in the shimmering splendour
Of the moon’s white pathway of silver fire;
Moon shadows touching a dream-world tender —
O Ta-Mahinna! O heart’s desire!
Were you only a dream with a dream’s surrender,
A moon-spun glory that must expire?

A fate-flung phantom out in the distance,
A rose in the greyness of life’s grey chart,
Shall I wrestle with fiends in a fool’s resistance?
O Ta-Mahinna! my restless heart
Craves thee again with a fierce insistence,
And we are drifting — apart! — apart!

O Ta-Mahinna! Shall Time’s dividing
Quench the white lustre of moons gone by?
Is there no land of a great abiding
For the beacons that beckoned from lip and eye,
Love’s lost stars out in the darkness hiding
Beyond the gates of the grave’s good-bye?

No lotus land where the gods are tending
The lone lost stars of our exile drear?
No glad green twilight of peace descending
From Love’s own land of the Always Near,
Where we’ll gather the blossoms of joy unending,
With the faith of the children that know not fear?

In the radiant lap of a land unsmitten
By death and darkness and dreams that die,
Where no soul walks in the darkness, bitten
With the listless langour that makes no cry,
Shall they live in the essence of things unwritten,
When the hills are dust and the seas are dry?

Who shall say — while the dead are sleeping,
And fettered souls in their prisons fret —
If this be the end of our time of weeping?
We dream it may be, and yet! — and yet —
If one should waken with pulses leaping
For glad remembrance — and one forget?

Ever the hunter of lives is calling —
Calling for sacrifice fair and fresh,
Where the strong souls wrestle their bondage galling,
And the weaklings languish in bond and mesh;
Shall he ever have ruth for life’s red rain falling —
For the strong soul cleaving the quivering flesh?

Nay! — It is written! — the pale years, fleeing
Like a train of ghosts to the far away,
Bear all our treasures beyond our seeing,
And the earth-heart yawns for the senseless clay
That has lived and laboured and spent its being
Like the swift, sweet breath of a summer day.

Ah Ta-Mahinna! My heart is yearning
For life’s full measure — and life is o’er,
And I am hungered and sick with learning
The weary wisdom of world-old lore.
This is the end! God! — the slow sands turning —
And then the darkness — for evermore.

Marie E. J. Pitt, The Horses of the Hills and Other Verses, Melbourne: Specialty Press, 1911, pages 103-105

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