[Editor: This poem by Rex Ingamells was published in Gumtops (1935).]
By the Fire
The gentle drum of rain upon the roof
Is sorrowful but comforting to sorrow;
And its dim reverberations
Soothe the night.
I am sitting by the fire,
Watching the warm raying of its light,
And treasuring remembered conversations
Salvaging from yesterday your words.
I hear the splash of water from the gutterings;
The murmur of the wind,
Its ceaseless mutterings
About the trees where I have heard the birds.
Springtime music comes again
In the phantom trill of rain;
But what longing does it bring
To hear a joyous first refrain!
All beautiful and cherished things must pass,
Till only dreams are left like winds that walk on grass;
And, like the drearness of a wind that rustles in the grass,
The sadness of a memory in the heart
Stirs and stifles.
Your living voice is no more mine
And, though each phantom accent brings
Its haunting fear, —
The fear of life I felt when told
Your face would no more shine —
Yet even now I would not lose
The pang-fraught comfort thrilling through
The phantom echoes of a voice
Whose tenderness I knew.
The drumming rain’s reverberations
Soothe the night,
While I am sitting by the fire,
Watching the warm raying of its light
And treasuring remembered conversations.
Rex Ingamells. Gumtops, F. W. Preece & Sons, Adelaide, 1935, pages 48-49
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