The Theme Eternal [poem by John Shaw Neilson]

[Editor: This poem by John Shaw Neilson was published in Beauty Imposes: Some Recent Verse (1938).]

The Theme Eternal

(Replying to a fellow rhymer who complains that a beautiful young girl is using cosmetics)

Great is the theme, good brother, you have chosen;
Sweet is the maid as the impetuous Spring.
Beauty she craves: without it all is frozen;
Love could not breathe in each beloved thing.

Truly she paints, and with serene precision;
Velvet her eyelids as the moon would seem;
Always an angel, always in our vision,
Drifting divinely onward in a dream.

Song she has found, the song of the green season,
And the last tremors of the violin;
Who can resist her? She outgenerals Reason.
Great is the calm irreverence of her chin!

Eve is upon her each day of the seven,
Eve with the urge that none may understand;
Beauty she craves, all beauty under Heaven,
Old as the thirst of Summer on the land.

Shaw Neilson, Beauty Imposes: Some Recent Verse, Sydney: Angus & Robertson, 1938, page 11

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