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Kenneth Slessor

(27 March 1901 – 30 June 1971 / Orange, New South Wales)

Thief of the Moon


Thief of the moon, thou robber of old delight,
Thy charms have stolen the star-gold, quenched the moon-
Cold, cold are the birds that, bubbling out of night,
Cried once to my ears their unremembered tune-
Dark are those orchards, their leaves no longer shine,
No orange's gold is globed like moonrise there-
O thief of the earth's old loveliness, once mine,
Why dost thou waste all beauty to make thee fair?

Break, break thy strings, thou lutanists of earth,
Thy musics touch me not-let midnight cover
With pitchy seas those leaves of orange and lime,
I'll not repent. The world's no longer worth
One smile from thee, dear pirate of place and time,
Thief of old loves that haunted once thy lover!


Submitted: Thursday, January 01, 2004

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