A Garden Hat [poem by Agnes L. Storrie]

[Editor: This poem by Agnes L. Storrie was published in Poems, 1909.]

A Garden Hat.

I found it to-day in the dust and gloom,
Where the moths and the spiders revel,
Of a communistic lumber room,
Where the ranks of all are level,
Where the aristocrats of a by-gone day
Hobnob with plebeian lumber,
And rosewood trifles and velvets gay
With deal and horsehair slumber,
And fans that will flutter and flirt no more
By delicate fingers wielded
Lie on the dust-encumbered floor
By kindly cobwebs shielded,
And packets of letters, dim and pale,
As the passions their writers vaunted,
In faded characters seem to rail
In the silence spectre-haunted.

I found it to-day, with its edges frayed,
Its garland of poppies wilted,
A garden hat, beneath whose shade
A charming chin was tilted,
And against its broad, low sweeping brim
Her sunny hair would cluster,
Her dark eyes dancing with every whim
And alight with youth’s own lustre.

The azure day with its golden frame
And its white clouds lightly flying,
The winds that softly sighed her name,
The rustling leaves replying,
For a garden hat, without a doubt,
Argues a garden sunny,
And there are pretty sure to be bees about
Where are blossoms full of honey;
And only a head full of Love’s romance
Would seek such a flimsy cover,
So I know, at my first, most casual glance,
That there must have been a lover.

And I’m just as sure of the words he said,
Whatever his creed or nation,
I can guess, though he’s long since dumb and dead,
The theme of his oration;
And I like to think that, though each romance,
While believing itself immortal,
Must fade ’neath the finger of time and chance
And pass through decay’s dim portal,
The spirit of love is a thing apart,
A flame that no time assuages,
But, lighted afresh at each lover’s heart,
Burns on undimmed through the ages.

Agnes L. Storrie. Poems, J. W. Kettlewell, Sydney, 1909, pages 152-153

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