The Hawthorn [poem by Philip Durham Lorimer]

[Editor: This poem by Philip Durham Lorimer was published in Songs and Verses by Philip Durham Lorimer: An Australian Bush Poet, 1901.]

The Hawthorn

This the Hawthorn, flower of May,
Purest emblem of the Spring :
With the breath of love it tells thee
Of the pleasures sunbeams bring.
When its fragrance in thy bosom
Thrills thee with its magic power,
Life becomes a dream of Heaven —
Ecstasy thy spirit’s dower.
Yes ! my Jane, the Summer flowerets
Bear no bloom so sweet as this ;
For its beauty and its fragrance
Surely tell of future bliss.
Thy delight has never wandered
O’er Britannia’s meadows green.
Where this wild flower sweetly wreathing
Breathes so gently o’er the scene,
And to evening air imparteth
All its sweetness, all its worth,
And the breezes bear its incense
O’er the beauty of the earth.
And I tell thee that this fragrance,
With its rich and lovely kiss,
Upward soars away to heaven,
Leaving there the Spring-tide bliss.

This the Hawthorn, flower of May,
Wafting here its loveliness ;
Give it now thy sweet embraces —
And thy sheltering tenderness.
Think not that its power has vanished —
Thoughts like these unworthy seem :
Thy Creator’s hand is even
With the flow’ret in its dream.
And, my Jane, that Hand is with thee
When the fragrance scatters here.
Sweetness of the Spring-tide beauty,
All that bloomed within a year,
Still I see the bough and blossom,
Hues that fade not come at will,
And my memory now can bring me
All the blossoms blooming still,
And the blackbird’s warbling sonnet
Tones still clear in melody,
On the wing of fond remembrance,
Through those boughs still come to me.
And I tell thee that the Hawthorn
Which so scents the fields to-day,
Long will live, for Heav’n has crowned it —
Crowned it as the Queen of May.

This the Hawthorn, flow’r of May,
Breathing here its softest breath,
In the woodland bower it blossomed :
In that bower it knew not death.
For though man has torn its splendour
From the pleasure of the glade,
Still its hues are lovely, lovely !
And they cannot, cannot fade.
And, my Jane, its fragrance living.
Flees to thee — to thine embrace :
Bringing thee a smile to linger
O’er the beauty of thy face ;
Resting there with spirit, longing.
Longing to ascend the sky,
And reluctant now to leave thee,
And to kiss the last “ Good-bye.”
In the Spring-tide crown it glittered
Foremost in its bright array :
Now, my Jane, it hastes to crown thee
As the sweetest Queen of May.


E. A. Petherick (editor). Songs and Verses by Philip Durham Lorimer: An Australian Bush Poet, William Clowes and Sons, London, 1901, pages 97-99

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