Surely God was a Lover
Surely God was a lover when He bade the day begin
Soft as a woman’s eyelid — white as a woman’s skin.
Surely God was a lover, with a lover’s faults and fears,
When He made the sea as bitter as a wilful woman’s tears.
Surely God was a lover, with the madness love will bring:
He wrought while His love was singing, and put her soul in the Spring.
Surely God was a lover, by a woman’s wile controlled,
When He made the Summer a woman thirsty and unconsoled.
Surely God was a lover when He made the trees so fair:
In every leaf is a glory caught from a woman’s hair.
Surely God was a lover — see, in the flowers He grows,
His love’s eyes in the violet — her sweetness in the rose.
Shaw Neilson, Heart of Spring, Sydney: The Bookfellow, 1919, page 51
Also published in:
The Daily Herald (Adelaide, SA), 8 October 1910, p. 13
The Sunday Sun (Sydney, NSW), 9 October 1910, p. 9 [as Shaw Neilson]
The Bookfellow (Sydney), 15 July 1914 (Supplement to The Bookfellow), p. xxviii [as Shaw Neilson]
John Shaw Neilson, Ballad and Lyrical Poems, Sydney: The Bookfellow in Australia, 1923, page 75
John Shaw Neilson (edited by R. H. Croll), Collected Poems of John Shaw Neilson, Melbourne: Lothian Book Publishing Company, 1934, page 45
He = in a religious context, and capitalized, a reference to God or Jesus
His = in a religious context, and capitalized, a reference to God or Jesus
wile = craftiness, cunning, trickery used to ensnare or manipulate someone, especially to beguile, entice, or seduce someone (commonly used in the plural sense, such as in the phrase “womanly wiles”)