The Hour is Lost
The hour is lost. Was ever hour so sweet?
Fruitful of blessing, friends and honeyed words —
The sunlight in our faces — at our feet
The world bright, beautiful, its flocks and herds,
Foliage of forests, choruses of birds ..
O happy time, why did we stand downcast?
We should have leapt for love: but now, the hour is past.
The hour is lost. Scarce had we time to mark
The glory of the green, the sky’s soft blue;
It came as silently as comes the dark,
Our hearts burned hot within us ere we knew ..
Then suddenly we said, Can it be true
This golden time was ours? — and now downcast
We stand dumb and amazed. Alas! the hour is past.
Shaw Neilson, Heart of Spring, Sydney: The Bookfellow, 1919, page 50
Also published in:
John Shaw Neilson, Ballad and Lyrical Poems, Sydney: The Bookfellow in Australia, 1923, page 60
John Shaw Neilson (edited by R. H. Croll), Collected Poems of John Shaw Neilson, Melbourne: Lothian Book Publishing Company, 1934, page 44
alas = an expression of regret, disappointment, sadness, or sorrow, especially used regarding circumstances which are unfortunate (e.g. “I would like to help you; but, alas, I cannot”); regrettably, unfortunately
dumb = mute, unable to speak; unwilling to speak; not speaking (can also refer to: a lack of intelligence; someone who lacks intelligence, or who is regarded as stupid; something which is stupid, foolish, or pointless)