Here, on this broad divan your dainty skirts were spread,
Here is the dint made by your resting golden head,
And yet, they tell me, O ! Heart’s Darling you are dead.
The daffodils I sent you, undismayed,
Still stand like gallant sentinels arrayed
In golden armour, surely they would shed
Some of their beauty if another flower were dead.
Death! death! what is it ? in this flower-filled room,
Fragrant with your late presence and the flawless bloom
Of living, soulless blossoms, can I stay my breath
And by my very will invade your realm of death ?
Where are you, Darling ? The importunate air
Vibrates with yearning, and incorporate I share
The mystery that surrounds you. Down the steep
Gold ladder of this sunbeam there shall sweep
Your naked soul, and clash against my own,
Our very essences like flames together blown,
And spirit into spirit fused in one ecstatic breath
We shall triumphantly o’erleap this carnal gulf of death.
I feel a tremor in my soul, it senses unseen things,
And from its chrysalis with pain puts forth imperious wings,
Wings well equipped for rarer airs, and finer altitudes
Where, at the very fount of life, no hint of death intrudes.
O! softer than terrestrial airs are these that round me blow,
More luminous than suns of earth these happy planets glow,
And, cleansed from its poor mortal scales my vision pierces clear
The limitless expanses of this radiant atmosphere.
And as a seed deep sown in earth brings forth a living flower,
My spirit bursts its husk of clay and wins its rightful power.
Not vainly were our souls transfused with an immortal breath,
And not in vain we test its power across this void of death.
Here are you, Darling, closer than the perfume to the rose,
Than its music to the harp-string your living presence grows
Into my being, and I feel, I know — O ! God ! — I see
Across the barriers of sense, and through its mystery.
Now may the empty world revolve, and clay reclaim its clay,
Now may the processes of time pursue their destined way,
For, like a flash that stabs the gloom when the storm is at its height,
My spirit in her agony has glimpsed a heavenly light,
No more am I the fettered slave of my humanity,
The secret of the Universe has been revealed to me.
Agnes L. Storrie. Poems, J. W. Kettlewell, Sydney, 1909, pages 3-5