The Flight of the Weary [poem by John Shaw Neilson]

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

The Flight of the Weary

Your feet have been made for the fairies:
Your seventeen sorrows are there:
The moonlight has been with the sunlight
And both have misgoverned your hair:
You love not the noise of the city:
You love not the scent of the sea;
And, oh, you are weary! how weary!
And the world is so weary with me.

You cannot go out to the blossom:
You cannot contend in the play:
I call you the little white maiden,
The moon that is out all the day.
The lights in the leaves are of scarlet,
The colour that comes to redeem:
The winds are all painted with honey,
And we can escape in a dream.

In moods of unmeasured magenta
The sun has apparelled the day:
The leaves are as words in a fable
Or tears that come out in a play:
Oh, you with a year to a sorrow!
The cynical Summer and Spring
Shall both be ashamed of their dancing,
And you shall hear many birds sing.

Oh, we have been sorry and soiled by
The low-living scent of the sea:
Come, let us escape in the scarlet!
And you can be weary with me.
The flowers shall have all the sweet voices
That ever came into the ear,
And Spring as a mourner shall listen,
And Summer shall save us a tear.

Out there in beloved October,
Then shall we anoint for a king
Some little old desolate dreamer
Who had not the passion to sing:
The wind shall be sweet as the kisses
That come when a maiden is kind:
The dews out of Heaven shall hasten
And open the eyes of the blind.

The silent shall speak, and the ears of
The deaf shall be shaken with sound:
There shall be a forest, and lovers
Shall make it the holiest ground:
The sunlight shall be with the moonlight
And leave the delight on your hair:
The birds of the forest shall journey
And sing the sweet hymns for you there.

The lakes shall be many and gentle:
The water-birds, holy and wise,
Shall put the grief out of your shoulders
And pull the pain out of your eyes:
Our God shall be drowsy, and think out
His thoughts like a beautiful tree;
And you shall be weary! how weary!
With all that is weary to me.

John Shaw Neilson (editor: R. H. Croll), Collected Poems of John Shaw Neilson, Melbourne: Lothian Publishing Company, 1934 [May 1949 reprint], pages 133-135

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