The White Flowers Came [poem by John Shaw Neilson]

[Editor: This poem by John Shaw Neilson was published in Heart of Spring (1919) and Collected Poems of John Shaw Neilson (1934).]

The White Flowers Came

’Twas in the sweet month, tremulous
With dancing joys that none may quell,
The white flowers came upon the world:
They taught the old-time parable.

Life looked so very sweet a thing:
The watcher wept, the lights burned low:
He moved, he felt the long cold kiss
And yet it seemed not good to go.

Two damsels, underneath the stars,
Lay listening on the cool green ground:
Faint as the falling dew they heard
The song that spins the world around.

Strange bickering rose where Death and Life
Sat quarrelling on the green hillside . .
Soft as a blessing spoke the bells,
Blue sky and blossoms for a bride.

Toiling and tired at close of day
A thin white widow woman prayed . .
In many a lighted town was told
The mystery of man and maid . .

’Twas in the grey of eventime,
Cool earth and sky delightsome mild,
God’s pity came . . . In tears he saw
The blue eyes of a little child.

Shaw Neilson, Heart of Spring, The Bookfellow, Sydney, 1919, pages 81-82

Also published in:
John Shaw Neilson (editor: R. H. Croll), Collected Poems of John Shaw Neilson, Lothian Publishing Company, Melbourne, 1934 [May 1949 reprint], page 73

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