The Quest of No Avail [poem by E. J. Brady]

[Editor: This poem by E. J. Brady was published in Bells and Hobbles (1911).]

The Quest of No Avail.

It was starlight on Euphrates, o’er a thousand years ago,
And a Dreamer by the River watched its silken, silver flow.
“Give,” he cried, “my Idol to me, from thy voiceless Night, O Death:
I would hold again her sweetness; breathe the perfume of her breath!”
Naught the Solemn River answered, and the Silent Stars shone on.

Now ’tis starlight on a River in the new Australian night,
And the countless flow’rs of Heaven bloom in endless fields of light.
“Give me back,” a Dreamer crieth to the silken silver stream —
“Give me back my shattered Idol; give me back my vanished Dream!”
Naught the Solemn River answered, and the Silent Stars shine on.

E. J. Brady, Bells and Hobbles, Melbourne: George Robertson & Co., 1911, p. 139

Editor’s notes:
crieth = (archaic) cries

Euphrates = the Euphrates River (a major river of Western Asia, which originates in eastern Turkey, flows through Syria and Iraq, and ends in the Persian Gulf)

flow’r = (vernacular) flower

o’er = (archaic) over (pronounced the same as “oar”, “or”, and “ore”)

’tis = (archaic) a contraction of “it is”

thy = (archaic) your

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