Finis Exoptatus - A Metaphysical Song Poem Rhyme Scheme and Analysis


There's something in this world amissA
Shall be unriddled by and byeB
Boot and saddle see the slantingD
Rays begin to fallE
Flinging lights and colours flauntingD
Through the shadows tallE
Onward onward must we travelF
When will come the goalG
Riddle I may not unravelF
Cease to vex my soulG
Harshly break those peals of laughterH
From the jays aloftI
Can we guess what they cry afterH
We have heard them oftI
Perhaps some strain of rude thanksgivingD
Mingles in their songJ
Are they glad that they are livingD
Are they right or wrongJ
Right 'tis joy that makes them call soK
Why should they be sadL
Certes we are living alsoK
Shall not we be gladL
Onward onward must we travelF
Is the goal more nearM
Riddle we may not unravelF
Why so dark and drearM
Yon small bird his hymn outpouringD
On the branch close byB
Recks not for the kestrel soaringD
In the nether skyB
Though the hawk with wings extendedN
Poises over headO
Motionless as though suspendedN
By a viewless threadO
See he stoops nay shooting forwardP
With the arrow's flightQ
Swift and straight away to nor'wardR
Sails he out of sightQ
Onward onward thus we travelF
Comes the goal more nighB
Riddle we may not unravelF
Who shall make replyB
Ha Friend Ephraim saint or sinnerM
Tell me if you canS
Tho' we may not judge the innerM
By the outer manS
Yet by girth of broadcloth ampleF
And by cheeks that shineT
Surely you set no exampleF
In the fasting lineT
Could you like yon bird discov'ringB
Fate as close at handU
As the kestrel o'er him hov'ringB
Still as he did standU
Trusting grandly singing gailyV
Confident and calmW
Not one false note in your dailyV
Hymn or weekly psalmX
Oft your oily tones are heard inY
Chapel where you preachZ
This the everlasting burdenC
Of the tale you teachZ
We are d d our sins are deadlyV
You alone are heal'dA2
'Twas not thus their gospel redlyV
Saints and martyrs seal'dA2
You had seem'd more like a martyrM
Than you seem to usB2
To the beasts that caught a TartarM
Once at EphesusB2
Rather than the stout apostleV
Of the Gentiles whoC2
Pagan like could cuff and wrestleV
They'd have chosen youC2
Yet I ween on such occasionC
Your dissenting voiceB2
Would have been in mild persuasionC
Raised against their choiceB2
Man of peace and man of meritD2
Pompous wise and graveE2
Ephraim is it flesh or spiritD2
You strive most to saveE2
Vain is half this care and cautionC
O'er the earthly shellV
We can neither baffle nor shunC
Dark plumed AzraelV
Onward onward still we wanderM
Nearer draws the goalV
Half the riddle's read we ponderM
Vainly on the wholeV
Eastward in the pink horizonC
Fleecy hillocks shameF2
This dim range dull earth that lies onG2
Tinged with rosy flameF2
Westward as a stricken giantH2
Stoops his bloody crestI2
And tho' vanquished frowns defiantH2
Sinks the sun to restI2
Distant yet approaching quicklyV
From the shades that lurkB
Like a black pall gathers thicklyV
Night when none may workB
Soon our restless occupationC
Shall have ceas'd to beV
Units in God's vast creationC
Ciphers what are weV
Onward onward oh faint heartedN
Nearer and more nearM
Has the goal drawn since we startedN
Be of better cheerM
Preacher all forbearance ask forM
All are worthless foundJ2
Man must aye take man to task forM
Faults while earth goes roundJ2
On this dank soil thistles musterM
Thorns are broadcast sownK2
Seek not figs where thistles clusterM
Grapes where thorns have grownK2
Sun and rain and dew from heavenC
Light and shade and airM
Heat and moisture freely givenC
Thorns and thistles shareM
Vegetation rank and rottenC
Feels the cheering rayM
Not uncared for unforgottenC
We too have our dayM
Unforgotten though we cumberM
Earth we work His willV
Shall we sleep through night's long slumberM
Unforgotten stillV
Onward onward toiling everM
Weary steps and slowV
Doubting oft despairing neverM
To the goal we goV
Hark the bells on distant cattleV
Waft across the rangeL2
Through the golden tufted wattleV
Music low and strangeL2
Like the marriage peal of fairiesB2
Comes the tinkling soundJ2
Or like chimes of sweet St Mary'sB2
On far English groundJ2
How my courser champs the snaffleV
And with nostril spreadO
Snorts and scarcely seems to ruffleV
Fern leaves with his treadO
Cool and pleasant on his haunchesB2
Blows the evening breezeB2
Through the overhanging branchesB2
Of the wattle treesB2
Onward to the Southern OceanC
Glides the breath of SpringB
Onward with a dreary motionC
I too glide and singB
Forward forward still we wanderM
Tinted hills that lieV
In the red horizon yonderM
Is the goal so nighV
Whisper spring wind softly singingB
Whisper in my earM
Respite and nepenthe bringingB
Can the goal be nearM
Laden with the dew of vespersB2
From the fragrant skyV
In my ear the wind that whispersB2
Seems to make replyV
Question not but live and labourM
Till yon goal be wonC
Helping every feeble neighbourM
Seeking help from noneC
Life is mostly froth and bubbleV
Two things stand like stoneC
Kindness in another's troubleV
Courage in your ownC
Courage comrades this is certainC
All is for the bestI2
There are lights behind the curtainC
Gentiles let us restI2
As the smoke rack veers to seawardP
From the ancient clayV
With its moral drifting leewardP
Ends the wanderer's layV

Adam Lindsay Gordon


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