Bernard Patrick O'Dowd was an Australian activist, educator, poet, journalist, and author of several law books and poetry books. O'Dowd worked as an assistant-librarian and later Chief Parliamentary Draughtsman in the Supreme Court at Melbourne for 48 years; he was also a co-publisher and writer for the radical paper Tocsin. Bernard O'Dowd lived to age 87.
Bernard O'Dowd was born in Beaufort, Victoria, Australia in 1866. He was a child prodigy that read Milton's, "Paradise Lost", at age 8. He was employed as a head teacher at a Catholic School in Ballarat, but was dismissed for heresy. He opened up his own school in Beaufort. In 1886, at age 20, he moved to Melbourne ... more »
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Bernard O'Dowd Poems
This love, that dares not warm before its flame Our yearning hands, or from its tempting tree Yield fruit we may consume, or let us claim In Hymen's scroll of happy heraldry
Love and Sacrifice
CAN we not consecrate To man and God above This volume of our great Supernal tide of love?
THIS is a rune I ravelled in the still, Arrogant stare of an Australian cow— ‘These prankt intruders of the hornless brow, Puffed up with strange illusions of their skill
True America's Message
OUR manlier spirits hear and will obey The Word YOU waft Australia o’er the sea— ‘Be true, be brave, be merciful, be free!’ Not you, who, braggart, sent this wan array
LAST sea-thing dredged by sailor Time from Space, Are you a drift Sargasso, where the West In halcyon calm rebuilds her fatal nest? Or Delos of a coming Sun-God’s race?
Black drips the ooze that you secrete on all That Honour's burin graves or Love holds dear: At sacrifice you laugh, at virtue sneer, And sour rebellion's must, the waking thrall
Come Jack, our place is with the ruck On the open road today, Not with the tepid "footpath sneak" Or with the wise who stop away.
Yet what were Love if man remains unfree, And woman's sunshine sordid merchandise: If children's Hope is blasted ere they see Its shoots of youth from out the branchlets rise:
THE SUNNY rounds of Earth contain An obverse to its Day, Our fertile Vagrancy’s domain, Wan Proletaria.
THEY tell you the poet is useless and empty the sound of his lyre, That science has made him a phantom, and thinned to a shadow his fire: Yet reformer has never demolished a dungeon or den of the foe But the flame of the soul of a poet pulsated in every blow.
Sloth (I) & (II)
Sloth (I) Too many a Samsan lip your teeth indent: Too many a Sybil girl you lure to make The Great Refusal for a fireside sake:
HARK! Young Democracy from sleep Our careless sentries raps: A backwash from the Future’s deep Our Evil’s foreland laps.
Last Stanzas of the Bush
WHERE is Australia, singer, do you know? These sordid farms and joyless factories, Mephitic mines and lanes of pallid woe? Those ugly towns and cities such as these
I wonder if the spell, the mystery, That like a haze about your silence clings, Moulding your void until we seem to see Tangible Presences of Deathless Things,
Comments about Bernard O'Dowd
(4 April 1928 - 28 May 2014)
(March 26, 1874 – January 29, 1963)
(10 December 1830 – 15 May 1886)
(26 April 1564 - 23 April 1616)
(12 July 1904 – 23 September 1973)
Edgar Allan Poe
(19 January 1809 - 7 October 1849)
(1 February 1902 – 22 May 1967)
(31 May 1819 - 26 March 1892)
(31 October 1795 – 23 February 1821)
This love, that dares not warm before its flame
Our yearning hands, or from its tempting tree
Yield fruit we may consume, or let us claim
In Hymen's scroll of happy heraldry
The twining glyphs of perfect you and me --
May kindle social fires whence curls no blame,
Find gardens where no fruits forbidden be,
And mottoes weave, unsullied by a shame.
For, love, unmothered Childhood wanly waits
For such as you to cherish it to Youth:
Raw social ...