The Progress .. .. of the Year [poem by John Le Gay Brereton, 18 September 1899]

[Editor: This poem by John Le Gay Brereton was published in The Australian Magazine (Sydney, NSW), 18 September 1899.]

The Progress .. .. of the Year.

By J. Le Gay Brereton.

What grave pomp is this that draws
Slowly from the east,
Moving on without a pause
To a royal feast? ——

Yearning faces, bright or sad;
Maidens fifty-two,
All in rainbow raiment clad,
Passing me and you.

Marching under changing skies,
Slowly on they move,
But in their expectant eyes
Petulance of love.

Many a long unheeded wick
Gleams or fades or flares;
Seven-branched the candlestick
Each pale novice bears.

Onward through the haunted night!
Slowly comes the morn.
Incense from each fragrant light
On the wind is borne.

Hark! a music dim and far
Revelry foretells
Where the Hopes that hasten are
Swinging ringing bells.

Who is this the train behind,
Slowly lagging there?
Fiery strings of jewels bind
Tresses of her hair.

Seemly as a scented rose
In a sunny place,
Light of love contented glows
Round about her face.

She, with never trace of doubt,
Marches steadily,
Laughs and shines and stretches out
Hands to you and me.

Hark! from Hopes in ordered quires
How the music swells!
Brighter flash the fairy spires.
Louder peal the bells.



Source:
The Australian Magazine (Sydney, NSW), 18 September 1899, pp. 384-385

Editor’s notes:
morn = morning

petulance = unreasonable or childish bad temper, impatience, irritability, or sulkiness (especially regarding something of low importance)

quire = (archaic) choir; may also refer to that part of a church where the choir is normally situated (can also refer to: 25 sheets of paper of identical size; a pamphlet of 4 sheets of paper, folded, thus being a pamphlet of 16 pages in length; a book, booklet, pamphlet)

raiment = (archaic) clothing, garments

train = a group of animals (especially pack animals), people, or vehicles slowly following each another in a line (e.g. a camel train, a wagon train); a retinue of attendants or retainers following an important person (e.g. a king or president); a caravan of animals or vehicles (can also refer to a train of thought, or a train of events, being a line or sequence of thoughts, or of events, which appear to be connected to each other)

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