The Lonely Road [poem by E. J. Brady]

[Editor: This poem by E. J. Brady was published in The Earthen Floor (1902).]


The Lonely Road.

Yea, I have smiled as men may smile whose hearts within them die;
Yea, I have heard the Voices call, and turned and said “Good-bye!”
Good-bye, my love, good-bye!
White powdered worlds wane dim above; the pregnant East grows gray —
Tired, trembling hands upon the rein, tired eyes to see the day.

Last eve your twining arms still claimed and held my soul in fee.
To-day the cruel miles spread far, so far ’tween thee and me;
My love, my love, good-bye!
Oh, we have lived our little hour — our little hour is dead;
The skies that arch another day burn grandly overhead.

Now nor’ward, nor’ward winds the track — how heavy falls the goad!
For I shall think and dream of thee along the lonely road —
My love, dear love, good-bye!
Yea, when our camp-fires red the night beyond the plain’s extreme,
Then shall I read among the coals, and dream, and dream, and dream. . .

And ne’er above still sleeping trees shall climb a great white moon,
And ne’er across the Bush shall fall soft shades of afternoon,
And never through their mid-day haze the blue hills smiling be,
But will their tender glories call my fancies back to thee.
So NOT good-bye!

Nay, not good-bye! So short is Life, so fair is Love so dear;
And theirs shall surely be the Earth who hope and nothing fear.
No, not good-bye!
For they must wait in ways obscure, who wait the Living Light;
But they shall see the Sun uprise who watch through all the Night.

E. J. Brady, The Earthen Floor, Grafton (N.S.W.): Grip Newspaper Co., 1902

Editor’s notes:
nay = no

ne’er = never

wane = decrease gradually in intensity, number, size, strength, or volume (e.g. “the moonlight waxed and waned”); to lose power or significance (e.g. “on the wane”); to come to a close, approach the end

yea = yes; indeed; truly; an affirmation (especially an affirmative vote), an indication of assent

Old spelling in the original text:
thee (you)
’tween (between)

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