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Lola Ridge

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The Seed

In my heart’s garden, overgrown,
     The careless wind a stray seed planted,
It throve, in dark dank mosses sown,
     Where never ray of sunshine slanted.

And day by day I watched it grow,
     Till fell things sickened in their places,
And blossoms dead long years ago
     Reached up their pale and faded faces.

But soon a sullen Wind, that swept,
     And moaned, around my secret bower,
Came peering through the leaves that kept
     A screen about my stolen flower.

I parried him, with weak decrial –
     A worthless thing, the breeze had tost –
“In vain, oh Heart! is thy denial –
     I seek a seed that I have lost.’’

No more its tendrils twine and cling,
     Its buds the cruel Wind hath looted;
A broken, soiled, and ruined thing
     It lies upon my heart, uprooted.

Oh, waste and bare and barren space!
     Arise, ye rank and bitter grasses,
And heal and cover up the space;
     For pain must pass as passion passes.



‘The Seed,’ Australian Town and Country Journal 17 May 1905: 35.
See also Verses 1905: 52.

Last updated 29 May, 2013