Roderic Quinn

(1867 - 1949 / Australia)

The Seeker


GOOD People, by your fires to-night
Sit close and praise the red, red wood!
The wind is cold, the moon is white;
With me who wander 'tis not well; it is not well, but God is good.
'Fore birth I was foredoomed to roam,
To keep my soul and self apart,
An alien without hearth and home —
With me who wander 'tis not well; there is no warmth of fire or heart.
I mate with all the wandering winds
That roam across the wintry earth;
What time behind your close-drawn blinds
Your firelit faces smile and smile, I would that I might share their
mirth.
But if I entered I should sit
A wordless dreamer at your fire;
With heart unwarmed and eyes unlit,
I should be like a spectre there, shut off from you and your desire.
And yet, I would that I might warm
My heart and hands at your fire-glow;
But headlong seas and shouting storm
They thrill my blood, they fill my eyes, they call me forth, and I must
go.
Good People, maids and dames and sires,
Ye have your little woe and mirth;
Ye dream no dream; but there are spires
That point to stars, and still point on in spite of this dark, drawing
earth.
It is not well with me to-night,
And I by that strange shore would be
Where, 'twist day's last grey gleam and night,
A Wonder wanes that I alone of all the world must seek and see.
What cliffs they be, what sea rolls there,
I do not know; but, spirit-chained,
Lost visions fill me with despair,
And all the washed grey foreland speaks of some strange Wonder that
has waned.
Good People, bread and wine are good,
And all your visions goodly be.
But some may crave for other food,
And some are seekers from their birth, and dream of lights they shall
not see.
And there is he who fain would find
A Wonder by an alien shore:
Athwart the seas he speeds his mind,
But on the instant fades a light, and lo, the Wonder is no more.

Submitted: Friday, April 16, 2010

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