“The Day is Thine” [poem by John Shaw Neilson]

[Editor: This poem by John Shaw Neilson was published in Heart of Spring (1919).]

“The Day is Thine”

’Twas in that far-off land of mine,
Dear land I never more may see:
The grey church like a ghost stood up:
The old sun-dial spoke to me —
Spoke deep into this soul of mine:
Only the day, the day is thine.

The bright-eyed baby buds and flowers
Showered sweetness on the dancing Spring;
Down in the dark green shade I heard
The singers of the deep woods sing;
The old sun-dial said its say,
This, only this, no other day.

The players of the playtime pass —
How swift the troublous seasons turn
All that we strive for, most we love,
And loving, never yet may learn.
The old sun-dial still speaks on:
This day — already, ’tis far gone.

The kisses and the fallen tears,
The hearts that could not hold their pain,
Seem holier in the mist of years:
The old sundial speaks again,
Stern teacher to this soul of mine:
This day, quick-perishing, is thine.

Shaw Neilson , Heart of Spring, The Bookfellow, Sydney, 1919, page 33

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