[Editor: This poem by Charles Harpur was published in The Bushrangers; A Play in Five Acts, and Other Poems (1853).]
Mine heart is heavy with an ancient sorrow,
My brain is aching with a clinging grief,
And if I seek to smooth away the furrow
It plougheth in my soul, in the relief
And balminess of Song, the cheat is brief!
One feeling still from which the Past did borrow
Exceeding light, reminds me that the morrow
Must drag me farther from its lost belief.
For solace therefore would I dive with Truth
Into the depths of her remotest lore:
Somewhere in Nature’s motherly breast there’s ruth
Yet for her child though wounded to the core,
Though Life’s first objects may beguile no more
And Misery clothe her with the dreams of youth!
Charles Harpur, The Bushrangers; A Play in Five Acts, and Other Poems, Sydney: W. R. Piddington, 1853, page 113
morrow = (archaic) the next day, tomorrow
ruth = feelings for someone else of compassion, pity, sorrow (also, sorrow for one’s own faults; contrition, remorse, self-reproach)
Old spelling in the original text: