[Editor: This poem by Philip Durham Lorimer was published in Songs and Verses by Philip Durham Lorimer: An Australian Bush Poet, 1901.]
Wrest thou not the sweet remembrance, —
The loving tender pressure of that hand,
O ruthless Time,
When innocence with blushing beauty gave
With it the power of woman to command
All thoughts sublime.
How beautifully telling,
When maiden thoughts are dwelling,
Unmingled with deceit,
Deep in a bosom sweet !
When friendship with a grasp more firmly pressed,
Firmer its clasp, more faithful to the heart
Its pulses ran ;
When words fell voiceless, silence deemed it best,
Only a gesture, kindlier to impart
Its power o’er man.
Rich is thy bosom’s love,
Pure as dew from heaven above.
True is that hand of thine,
When fondly clasped in mine.
In joy or sadness, with soft smilings bland.
How sweet the pressure of thy loving hand,
When sunshine light upon our pathway threw,
Or when life’s billows broke upon the strand
In starless night.
Only a clasp was telling
Where holier thoughts were swelling.
To reach eternal love.
In morning, noon, and at life’s mournful close,
When age casts on the brow those warning snows,
Youth’s beauty fled.
With it the dimpled cheek and golden tress,
Each lost its charm. Ah, no ! they are not less
To memory wed.
Only thy hand remaining,
Its priceless worth retaining,
To speak in deathless strain,
“We yet shall meet again !”
E. A. Petherick (editor). Songs and Verses by Philip Durham Lorimer: An Australian Bush Poet, William Clowes and Sons, London, 1901, pages 101-102
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