John Shaw Neilson

(22 February 1872 – 12 May 1942 / Penola, South Australia)

O Heart of Spring


O HEART of Spring!
Spirit of light and love and joyous day,
So soon to faint beneath the fiery Summer:
Still smiles the Earth, eager for thee alway:
Welcome art thou, soever short thy stay,
Thou bold, thou blithe newcomer!
Whither, O whither this thy journeying,
O heart of Spring?

O heart of Spring!
After the stormy days of Winter’s reign,
When the keen winds their last lament are sighing,
The Sun shall raise thee up to life again:
In thy dim death thou shalt not suffer pain:
Surely thou dost not fear this quiet dying?
Whither, O whither this thy journeying,
O heart of Spring?

O heart of Spring!
Youth’s emblem, ancient and unchanging light,
Uncomprehended, unconsumed, still burning:
Oh that we could, as thou, rise from the night
To find a world of blossoms lilac-white,
And long-winged swallows unafraid returning…
Whither, O whither this thy journeying,
O heart of Spring?


Submitted: Thursday, January 01, 2004

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