Verse > Anthologies > Walter Murdoch, comp. > The Oxford Book of Australasian Verse
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CONTENTS · BIBLIOGRAPHIC RECORD
Walter Murdoch (1874–1970).  The Oxford Book of Australasian Verse.  1918.
 
51. The Dreamers
 
By Sydney Jephcott
 
 
HAVE courage, O my comradry of dreamers!
  All things, except mere Earth, are ours.
We pluck its passions for our flowers.
Dawn-dyed our great cloud-banners toss their streamers
Above its quaking tyrant-towers!        5
Making this stern grey planet shine with jewel-showers.
 
Our lives are mantled in forgotten glory,
  Like trees that fringe yon dark hill-crest
  Alight against the molten west.
The great night shuddering yields her stress of story—        10
  The dreams that stir the past’s long rest—
Strange, scented night-winds sighing on our naked breast.
 
Through all the spirit’s spacious, secret regions—
  By pathways we believed unknown—
  Still thoughts immortal meet our own.        15
Ideas!—In innumerable legions!
  Like summer’s stir in forests lone
Their various music merges in time’s monotone.
 
The dreamer sees the deep-drawn ore-veins brightening
  Through all the huge blind bulk of Earth;        20
  He led the ship around its girth;
He plays, as on the pulses of the lightning,
  The song that gives its workings worth,
The song foredained to bring man’s morrow to the birth.
 
Base, base mere doers, blind and dreamless;        25
  Whose bodies engines are of toil!
  Greasy with greed and lust they moil;
They cast lots for the dreamer’s garment seamless,
  To rot among their useless spoil;
The fathomless infinity their breath does soil.        30
 
Hail to the dream that roused the sleeping savage,
  And let him from his bloody lair,
  Across light’s bridge, that single hair,
Above th’ unpurposed, eyeless hell of ravage
  That, beasts and men, the soulless share,        35
And left him, waking in thought’s temple, Heaven’s heir!
 
Our souls, in these vast Heavens unbeholden
  Of eyes, our angel-hopes embrance;
  Or being’s shining trail retrace,
Through pregnant skies about our forms enfolden        40
  In rapture of our kindred race,
Until the gaze of God consume us, face to face.
 
Ah, God! In what undying dream of beauty
  Wrought Thou our world, so strange and fair,
  Afloat in Thy illusive air?—        45
Aye me! We know that dreaming is our duty!
  These dreams more intimate than prayer;
For in Thy dream divine our laureate spirits share.
 

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