Of Cora, once so dearly ours,
Would mournful memory sing;
Of how she came when came the flowers,
To leave us with the spring.
That day (returned) which gave her breath
Was that whereon she died,
And o’er the pangs of birth and death
Passed blooming as a bride.
The spring it came, with never a storm,
And nine times came and went,
Till its whole spirit with her form
In budding beauty blent.
Yea, till its sentiment was wreathed
About her eye it came,
And all its foregone influence breathed
At mention of her name.
And aye her soul, her inward worth,
Flushed out in subtle glows,
As from its heart come mantling forth
The ardours of a rose.
It was a glory from within
That made her face so fair,
A radiant spirit void of sin
Was working outward there.
Her locks as they were burnished shone
In many a massy fold,
Or fell in their profusion down
Like bursting sheaves of gold.
Bright garments of a spirit bright,
That even in the shroud
Were like the sunset’s aureate light
Within a lifeless cloud.
When she, our angel of the sun,
Had spread her wings in flight,
Ah, still would mournful memory sing
Of her, our lost delight!
Child with full orbs of heaven-deep blue
So richly gentle—touched with dew,
Befringed with glossy jet.
When with the spring we saw depart
Those eyes, those tresses curled,
Then summer dying in love’s heart,
To winger left the world.
Ah, soul that wore the snowy brow,
And gentle shining eyes,
Our song hath aye this burden now
Beneath the vernal skies.
In vain the dews of heaven are shed
Where blight hath been before;
So vainly weep we o’er the dead,
But only weep the more.
Yet from the bright time of her birth
And death, does faith construe
How, like the spring, though not on earth,
Our joy shall bloom anew.
More verses by Charles Harpur
- Trust In God
- An Aboriginal Mothers's Lament
- A Storm In The Mountains
- A Midsummer Noon In The Australian Forest
- The Drowned Alive