[Editor: This poem by Philip Durham Lorimer was published in Songs and Verses by Philip Durham Lorimer: An Australian Bush Poet, 1901.]
Our Store Of Hope
We have in our hearts just a very large space
That was opened when thought in us grew ;
At first it was lit by our mother’s fond face,
When our moments were sweet and were new ;
When her pulses were calm, and hope bright in her breast,
Though the present was hid in a maze,
She carefully stored in that harbour of rest,
For our future the smiles of her days.
How oft in our lives we have wakened in morn
With a wish to have joy set in gold !
But the noon Sun has faded, by clouds overborne,
Till the landscape grew gloomy and cold.
Then gladly we kept for the future afar,
In a place that is barred to despair,
The hope that arose like a beauteous star,
Which the love of a mother placed there !
Too early, perchance, or too late in the eve
Have we noticed a pleasure return ;
But we had not the feeling of mind to receive
The lesson we could not discern.
There’s a far brighter day, and ’tis coming along
To the present, with speed that will tell
How long has been kept from our temples of song
All the notes that our spirits should swell.
Our lives are made up of the present and past,
While we live for the future for that
Which discontent now has since trodden and cast
In the gloom where we often have sat.
But nevertheless we keep filling the space
With the longings our hearts most desire.
Ah ! little we dream that behind in the chase
Is our chance, for which vainly we tire !
But the light wings of Hope, in their shadowy flight,
Too often fall broken in clay ;
And longing proved weak when we deemed it had might,
While the years have shrunk down to a day !
Perchance only now Love is passing us by ;
In her hand is a life-saving rope ;
But Despair spreadeth clouds o’er the beautiful sky,
And Faith being dead, where is Hope ?
Gunnedah, June 11, 1893.
E. A. Petherick (editor). Songs and Verses by Philip Durham Lorimer: An Australian Bush Poet, William Clowes and Sons, London, 1901, pages 140-141