Cito Pede Preterit Aetas - A Philosophical Dissertation Poem Rhyme Scheme and Analysis


Gillian's dead God rest her bierA
How I loved her many years syneB
Marion's married but I sit hereA
Alive and merry at three score yearC
Dipping my nose in Gascoigne wineB
Wamba's Song ThackerayD
A mellower light doth Sol affordE
His meridian glare has pass'dF
And the trees on the broad and sloping swardE
Their length'ning shadows castF
Time flies The current will be no jokeG
If swollen by recent rainB
To cross in the dark so I'll have a smokeG
And then I'll be off againB
What's up old horse Your ears you prickH
And your eager eyeballs glistenB
'Tis the wild dog's note in the tea tree thickH
By the river to which you listenB
With head erect and tail flung outI
For a gallop you seem to begJ
But I feel the qualm of a chilling doubtI
As I glance at your fav'rite legJ
Let the dingo rest 'tis all for the bestK
In this world there's room enoughL
For him and you and me and the restK
And the country is awful roughL
We've had our gallop in days of yoreM
Now down the hill we must runB
Yet at times we long for one gallop moreM
Although it were only oneB
Did our spirits quail at a new four railN
Could a double double bank usO
Ere nerve and sinew began to failN
In the consulship of PlancusO
When our blood ran rapidly and whenB
Our bones were pliant and limberP
Could we stand a merry cross counter thenB
A slogging fall over timberP
Arcades ambo Duffers bothQ
In our best of days alasO
I tell the truth though to tell it lothR
'Tis time we were gone to grassO
The young leaves shoot the sere leaves fallS
And the old gives way to the newB
While the preacher cries 'tis vanity allS
And vexation of spirit tooB
Now over my head the vapours curlT
From the bowl of the soothing clayU
In the misty forms that eddy and whirlT
My thoughts are flitting awayU
Yes the preacher's right 'tis vanity allS
But the sweeping rebuke he showersO
On vanities all may heaviest fallS
On vanities worse than oursO
We have no wish to exaggerateV
The worth of the sports we prizeO
Some toil for their Church and some for their StateV
And some for their merchandiseO
Some traffic and trade in the city's martW
Some travel by land and seaO
Some follow science some cleave to artW
And some to scandal and teaO
And some for their country and their queenB
Would fight if the chance they hadX
Good sooth 'twere a sorry world I weenB
If we all went galloping madX
Yet if once we efface the joys of the chaseO
From the land and outroot the StudY
Good bye to the anglo saxon raceO
Farewell to the norman bloodY
Where the burn runs down to the uplands brownB
From the heights of the snow clad rangeZ
What anodyne drawn from the stifling townB
Can be reckon'd a fair exchangeZ
For the stalker's stride on the mountain sideA2
In the bracing northern weatherP
To the slopes where couch in their antler'd prideA2
The deer on the perfum'd heatherP
Oh the vigour with which the air is rifeB2
The spirit of joyous motionB
The fever the fulness of animal lifeB2
Can be drain'd from no earthly potionB
The lungs with the living gas grow lightC2
And the limbs feel the strength of tenB
While the chest expands with its madd'ning mightC2
God's glorious oxygenB
Thus the measur'd stroke on elastic swardE
Of the steed three parts extendedY
Hard held the breath of his nostrils broadD2
With the golden ether blendedY
Then the leap the rise from the springy turfE2
The rush through the buoyant airF2
And the light shock landing the veriest serfE2
Is an emperor then and thereF2
Such scenes sensation and sound and sightC2
To some undiscover'd shoreM
On the current of Time's remorseless flightC2
Have they swept to return no moreM
While like phantoms bright of the fever'd nightC2
That have vex'd our slumbers of yoreM
You follow us still in your ghostly mightC2
Dead days that have gone beforeM
Vain dreams again and again re toldG2
Must you crowd on the weary brainB
Till the fingers are cold that entwin'd of oldG2
Round foil and trigger and reinB
Till stay'd for aye are the roving feetH2
Till the restless hands are quietI2
Till the stubborn heart has forgotten to beatH2
Till the hot blood has ceas'd to riotI2
In Exeter Hall the saint may chideA2
The sinner may scoff outrightC2
The Bacchanal steep'd in the flagon's tideA2
Or the sensual SybariteA2
But Nolan's name will flourish in fameJ2
When our galloping days are pastA2
When we go to the place from whence we cameJ2
Perchance to find rest at lastA2
Thy riddles grow dark oh drifting cloudA2
And thy misty shapes grow drearM
Thou hang'st in the air like a shadowy shroudA2
But I am of lighter cheerM
Though our future lot is a sable blotA2
Though the wise ones of earth will blame usO
Though our saddles will rot and our rides be forgotA2
Dum Vivimus VivamusO

Adam Lindsay Gordon


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