Verse > Anthologies > Walter Murdoch, comp. > The Oxford Book of Australasian Verse
Walter Murdoch (1874–1970).  The Oxford Book of Australasian Verse.  1918.
38. Nora
By Henry Laurie
  CALM and fair
  Flows the stream of Nora’s life,
  Moving with a lazy air
    Far from strife.
  Goddesses        5
Must have looked from just such eyes,
  Full of still felicities,—
    No surprise,
  No endeavour
(For endeavour mars perfection),        10
  And, one almost fancies, never
    Strong affection.
  Far too cold
Seems that face for dream of mine,
  Though, if set in sculptured mould,        15
    How divine!
  As she stands
Looking from the window forth,
  Gazing o’er the sunny lands
    To the north,        20
  Light and shade
Cross and quiver to and fro,
  By the she-oak’s tresses made,
    Waving slow
  In the breeze;        25
But no varying light you trace,
  Save from flittings such as these,
    On her face.
  Calmly moving
On her daily household ways,        30
  Little can you see for loving,
    Much for praise.
  One alone
Sets her quiet life aglow,
  And, whene’er she hears his tone,        35
    Then, I know
  That her form
Has a richer, fuller grace,
  And the colour rushes warm
    To her face.        40
  From her eyes
All the hidden life peeps out,
  From her lips strange melodies
    Float about
  All astir,        45
Thoughts and hopes, unguessed before,
  Gleam, till Love can ask of her
    Nothing more.
  ’Tis as though,
Walking on a charmèd shore,        50
  Blind to all the gleam and glow
    Which it bore,
  On our sight
Flashed the flush of roses blowing,
  Dewdrops sparkling in the light,        55
    Rivers flowing;
  For at last
One had come, whose star-tipt wand
  Woke to gladness, as he passed
    Through the land.        60
  Shall we then
Grudge the favoured one his due?
  Fate gives wands to other men,
    Charmèd too!
  Unaware        65
While we wander to and fro,
  Flowers may blossom here and there
    As we go.
  Lives are bound
Each to each by secret spell,        70
  And a fairy-land lies round
    Us as well.


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