The Eleventh Moon [poem by John Shaw Neilson]

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

The Eleventh Moon

’Twas in the eleventh moon I went
wool gathering in the dim,
Near by me was a lover lad
and the sweetness was on him.

Lightly his eyes went to the east
and he with joy was dumb,
His sweet love walked a miracle
out of the moonlight come.

Oh, but he was the fine lover!
with a lover’s thirsting eye:
— When two hearts beat the tune is sweet
and knows not how to die.

Her laugh it was the rainbow’s laugh
delicious to the land,
And she gave to him for close loving
her little silken hand.

Her face was made of Summer thought
joined with the giddy Spring:
Gently I said, O heart, she is
too heavenly a thing.

The moon did seem as music spilled
upon her spotless gown,
And at her height of happiness
the summer tear came down.

Night — and the silence honey-wet:
the moon came to the full:
It was a time for gentle thought
and the gathering of wool.

John Shaw Neilson (editor: R. H. Croll), Collected Poems of John Shaw Neilson, Melbourne: Lothian Publishing Company, 1934 [May 1949 reprint], pages 96-97

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