William Gay was born in Bratton, Devonshire on 25 Feb 1812.
In 1834 he joined the crew of "Medway" as a carpenter and worked his way to Hobart where he arrived 21 July 1835. For the next eighteen months he stayed with the ship as it plied between Sydney and Hobart, eventually leaving the ship in Hobart on 26 January 1836. He had tried to convince his girlfriend in England to come ... more »
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William Gay Poems
The Crazy World
THE WORLD did say to me, ‘My bread thou shalt not eat, I have no place for thee In house nor field nor street.
FROM all division let our land be free, For God has made her one: complete she lies Within the unbroken circle of the skies, And round her indivisible the sea
A Sonnet of Battle
RELUCTANT Morn, whose meagre radiance lies With doubtful glimmer on the farthest hills, How long shall men, reiterant of their ills, With peevish invocation bid thee rise
The Ex Official's Lament
Alas alas! my power is gone; I thought 'twould last for ever; But now 'tis over, I must own, They've done it very clever.
They shine upon my table there, A constellation mimic sweet, No stars in Heaven could shine more fair, Nor Earth has beauty more complete;
IF in the summer of thy bright regard For one brief season these poor Rhymes shall live I ask no more, nor think my fate too hard If other eyes but wintry looks should give;
HOW long, O Lord, shall this, my country, be A nation of the dead? How long shall they Who seek their own and live but for the day, My country hinder from her destiny?
No My Friends No!
Hail foes to oppression, and lovers of freedom! Your day has arrived, and your power you know:-
Vestigia Nulla Retrorsum
O steep and rugged Life, whose harsh ascent Slopes blindly upward through the bitter night! They say that on thy summit, high in light, Sweet rest awaits the climber, travel-spent;
SHE sits a queen whom none shall dare despoil, Her crown the sun, her guard the vigilant sea, And round her throne are gathered, stalwart, free, A people proud, yet stooping to the soil,
Life From 1835 to 1851
And, now, a vacancy occurs, For very nearly sixteen years, In which I'd not the least desire, To strike the harp or tune the lyre.
Dear lowly flower that liftest up Among the grass thy golden cup, I take thee from thy earthly bed And plant thee in my heart instead.
I love not when the oily seas Heave huge and slow beneath the sun, When decks are hot, and dead the breeze, And wits are dropping one by one.
The War of the Ghosts
Three Ghosts that haunt me have I, Three Ghosts in my soul that fight, Three grandsire Ghosts in my soul, That haunt me by day and by night.
Comments about William Gay
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The Crazy World
THE WORLD did say to me,
‘My bread thou shalt not eat,
I have no place for thee
In house nor field nor street.
‘I have on land nor sea
For thee nor home nor bread,
I scarce can give to thee
A grave when thou art dead.’
‘O crazy World,’ said I,
‘What is it thou canst give,
Which wanting, I must die,
Or having, I shall live?
‘When thou thy all hast spent,
And all thy harvests cease,
I still have nutriment
That groweth by decrease.
‘Thy streets will pass away,