John Le Gay Brereton

(2 September 1871 – 2 February 1933 / Australia)

Lali - Poem by John Le Gay Brereton

While the summer day is hot
You and I will loaf awhile,
Lolling in a leafy spot,
Lali of the cunning smile.

You and I have little care
How the “precious moments” pass
While we snuff the drowsy air
Rich in fragrance of the grass.

Stupid people boom or squeal
Lessons drawn from daily strife;
“Time,” they cry, “is on the wheel;
Death puts out the gas of life.

Imitate the prudent ant,
Labour like the busy bee.”
O the everlasting cant!
Loafing's good for you and me.

Here we watch the ants that haul
Loads by weary jungle ways!
If they like it, let them crawl
Laden through the heavy blaze.

We've no time for moral tags;
We can hear a sleepy sound
With his yellow tucker-bags
Brother Bee is bumming round.

Little souls are vexed to see
How their hours of toil decrease:
Floating dreams for you and me,
Lazy joy in starry peace.


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Poem Submitted: Saturday, February 27, 2010



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