Inez K Hyland

(1863-1892 / Australia)

To a Wave


Where were you yesterday? In Gulistan,
With roses and the frenzied nightingales?
Rather would I believe you shining ran
With peaceful floods, where the soft voice prevails
Of building doves in lordly trees set high,
Trees which enclose a home where love abides --
His love and hers, a passioned ecstasy;
Your tone has caught its echo and derides
My joyless lot, as face down pressed I lie
Upon the shifting sand, and hear the reeds
Voicing a thin, dissonant threnody
Unto the cliff and wind-tormented weeds.
As with the faint half-lights of jade toward
The shore you come and show a violet hue,
I wonder if the face of my adored
Was ever held importraitured by you.
Ah, no! if you had seen his face, still prest
Within your hold the picture dear would be,
Like that bright portrait which so moved the breast
Of fairest Gurd with soft unrest that she,
Born in ice halls, she who but raised her eyes
And scornful questioned, "What is love, indeed?
None ever viewed it 'neath these northern skies," --
Seeing the face soon learned love's gentle creed;
But you hold nothing to be counted dear --
Only a gift of weed and broken shells;
Yet I will gather one, so I can hear
The soft remembrance which still in it dwells:
For in the shell, though broken, ever lies
The murmur of the sea whence it was torn --
So in a woman's heart there never dies
The memory of love, though love be lorn.

Submitted: Thursday, January 01, 2004

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