Finis Exoptatus Poem Rhyme Scheme and Analysis


Boot and saddle see the slantingA
Rays begin to fallB
Flinging lights and colours flauntingA
Through the shadows tallB
Onward onward must we travelC
When will come the goalD
Riddle I may not unravelC
Cease to vex my soulD
Harshly break those peals of laughterE
From the jays aloftF
Can we guess what they cry afterE
We have heard them oftF
Perhaps some strain of rude thanksgivingA
Mingles in their songG
Are they glad that they are livingA
Are they right or wrongG
Right 'tis joy that makes them call soH
Why should they be sadI
Certes we are living alsoH
Shall not we be gladI
Onward onward must we travelC
Is the goal more nearJ
Riddle we may not unravelC
Why so dark and drearJ
Yon small bird his hymn outpouringA
On the branch close byK
Recks not for the kestrel soaringA
In the nether skyK
Though the hawk with wings extendedL
Poises over headM
Motionless as though suspendedL
By a viewless threadM
See he stoops nay shooting forwardN
With the arrow's flightO
Swift and straight away to nor'wardP
Sails he out of sightO
Onward onward thus we travelC
Comes the goal more nighK
Riddle we may not unravelC
Who shall make replyK
Ha Friend Ephraim saint or sinnerJ
Tell me if you canQ
Tho' we may not judge the innerJ
By the outer manQ
Yet by girth of broadcloth ampleC
And by cheeks that shineR
Surely you set no exampleC
In the fasting lineR
Could you like yon bird discov'ringK
Fate as close at handS
As the kestrel o'er him hov'ringK
Still as he did standS
Trusting grandly singing gailyT
Confident and calmU
Not one false note in your dailyT
Hymn or weekly psalmV
Oft your oily tones are heard inW
Chapel where you preachX
This the everlasting burdenY
Of the tale you teachX
We are d d our sins are deadlyT
You alone are heal'dZ
'Twas not thus their gospel redlyT
Saints and martyrs seal'dZ
You had seem'd more like a martyrJ
Than you seem to usA2
To the beasts that caught a TartarJ
Once at EphesusA2
Rather than the stout apostleT
Of the Gentiles whoB2
Pagan like could cuff and wrestleT
They'd have chosen youB2
Yet I ween on such occasionY
Your dissenting voiceA2
Would have been in mild persuasionY
Raised against their choiceA2
Man of peace and man of meritC2
Pompous wise and graveD2
Ephraim is it flesh or spiritC2
You strive most to saveD2
Vain is half this care and cautionY
O'er the earthly shellT
We can neither baffle nor shunY
Dark plumed AzraelT
Onward onward still we wanderJ
Nearer draws the goalT
Half the riddle's read we ponderJ
Vainly on the wholeT
Eastward in the pink horizonY
Fleecy hillocks shameE2
This dim range dull earth that lies onF2
Tinged with rosy flameE2
Westward as a stricken giantG2
Stoops his bloody crestH2
And tho' vanquished frowns defiantG2
Sinks the sun to restH2
Distant yet approaching quicklyT
From the shades that lurkK
Like a black pall gathers thicklyT
Night when none may workK
Soon our restless occupationY
Shall have ceas'd to beT
Units in God's vast creationY
Ciphers what are weT
Onward onward oh faint heartedL
Nearer and more nearJ
Has the goal drawn since we startedL
Be of better cheerJ
Preacher all forbearance ask forJ
All are worthless foundI2
Man must ay take man to task forJ
Faults while earth goes roundI2
On this dank soil thistles musterJ
Thorns are broadcast sownJ2
Seek not figs where thistles clusterJ
Grapes where thorns have grownJ2
Sun and rain and dew from heavenY
Light and shade and airJ
Heat and moisture freely givenY
Thorns and thistles shareJ
Vegetation rank and rottenY
Feels the cheering rayJ
Not uncared for unforgottenY
We too have our dayJ
Unforgotten though we cumberJ
Earth we work His willT
Shall we sleep through night's long slumberJ
Unforgotten stillT
Onward onward toiling everJ
Weary steps and slowT
Doubting oft despairing neverJ
To the goal we goT
Hark the bells on distant cattleT
Waft across the rangeK2
Through the golden tufted wattleT
Music low and strangeK2
Like the marriage peal of fairiesA2
Comes the tinkling soundI2
Or like chimes of sweet St Mary'sA2
On far English groundI2
How my courser champs the snaffleT
And with nostril spreadM
Snorts and scarcely seems to ruffleT
Fern leaves with his treadM
Cool and pleasant on his haunchesA2
Blows the evening breezeA2
Through the overhanging branchesA2
Of the wattle treesA2
Onward to the Southern OceanY
Glides the breath of SpringK
Onward with a dreary motionY
I too glide and singK
Forward forward still we wanderJ
Tinted hills that lieT
In the red horizon yonderJ
Is the goal so nighT
Whisper spring wind softly singingK
Whisper in my earJ
Respite and nepenthe bringingK
Can the goal be nearJ
Laden with the dew of vespersA2
From the fragrant skyT
In my ear the wind that whispersA2
Seems to make replyT
'Question not but live and labourJ
Till yon goal be wonY
Helping every feeble neighbourJ
Seeking help from noneY
Life is mostly froth and bubbleT
Two things stand like stoneY
Kindness in another's troubleT
Courage in your own '-
Courage comrades this is certainY
All is for the bestH2
There are lights behind the curtainY
Gentiles let us restH2
As the smoke rack veers to seawardN
From 'the ancient clay'T
With its moral drifting leewardN
Ends the wanderer's layT

Adam Lindsay Gordon


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