Roderic Quinn

(1867 - 1949 / Australia)

The Scarlet Cloak

ONE may go a-many leagues a-questing yon and hither;
One may look on queens and kings, and think the vision bliss;
But he who has the wholesome heart, as lightsome as a feather,
Can find a joy in everything, no matter what it is.
Golden Miles to Burrawang, when the morn was tender! —
How your memory rises up, how it haunts and smiles!
Back again, and back it comes — all the early splendour —
All your length made beautiful, O you Golden Miles!
You that wore the scarlet cloak in the pearly morning,
When the sun came up the East, and through the heavens strode
Like a prince of great account, cloud and mist-wreath scorning —
What was in the heart of you, waiting by the road?
Birds of all the bush around were at their greeting matins,
Some with little twitterings, and some with loud acclaim;
Cloth-of-gold is fine wear, and fine are silks and satins —
Finer was the scarlet cloak that wrapped you like a flame.
You that wore the scarlet cloak in the early morning,
When the leaves were dancing all, and the dewdrops glowed,
Like a flower — a flower of flowers, the dewy way adorning —
Love was in the heart of you, waiting by the road!

Submitted: Friday, April 16, 2010

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