Leon Maxwell Gellert was born in 1892 and educated in Adelaide, Australia.His Grandparents were Hungarian immigrants. Leon was regularly beaten by his Father James, so at the age of 17 he began a course of self-defence lessons, which were to prove useful when, one day his father attacked him with a heavy piece of timber, James Gellert was thrown on his back. Leon, after leaving school worked for a time as a pupil-teacher until he enlisted as a private in 10th AIF. On October 22 1914, Gellert and the 10th Battalion set off for Egypt. Corporal Gellert became drunk for the first time in his life, on Melbourne Bitter whilst sailing on the Indian Ocean.
Gellert resumed writing poetry ... more »
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Leon Gellert Poems
There’s a lonely stretch of hillocks: There’s a beach asleep and drear: There’s a battered broken fort beside the sea. There are sunken trampled graves:
The Last to Leave
The guns were silent, and the silent hills had bowed their grasses to a gentle breeze I gazed upon the vales and on the rills, And whispered, "What of these?' and "What of these?
Long before the dawn breaks With a bird's cry,
We always had to do our work at night. I wondered why we had to be so sly. I wondered why we couldn't have our fight Under the open sky.
The island sleeps,-but it has no delight For em, to whom that sleep has been unkind. My thoughts are long of what seems long ago,
The Attack at Dawn
‘At every cost,’ they said, ‘it must be done.’ They told us in the early afternoon. We sit and wait the coming of the sun
The Jester in the Trench
"That just reminds me of a yarn," he said; And look for the body of Lofty Lane
Bluebeard’s First Wife
I lie by the garden wall, Buried and all alone; The brown camellias fall One by one on the stone.
A Night Attack
Be still. The bleeding night is in suspense Of watchful agony and coloured thought, And every beating vein and trembling sense,
The world rolls wet with blood, and the skinny hand of Death gropes at the beating heart.
The night has come,, I feel the desert dew, I lie in Afric's sands And breath the night, for night like these are few In other lands;
Waft on, thou upward breeze From the warm south! And on her wayward mouth Imprint my far farewells
A red-roofed house is shining to the skies; A house red-roofed and brilliant in the wind: A house of colour filled with wandering eyes;
A moon upon a moonlit sea To me thou art; And every shining part Of heaven belong to thee;
Comments about Leon Gellert
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There’s a lonely stretch of hillocks:
There’s a beach asleep and drear:
There’s a battered broken fort beside the sea.
There are sunken trampled graves:
And a little rotting pier:
And winding paths that wind unceasingly.
There’s a torn and silent valley:
There’s a tiny rivulet
With some blood upon the stones beside its mouth.
There are lines of buried bones:
There’s an unpaid waiting debt :
There’s a sound of gentle sobbing in the South.