Rate this poem:(0.00 / 0 votes)

Wilfred

John Le Gay Brereton 1871 (Sydney) – 1933



What of these tender feet
That have never toddled yet?
What dances shall they beat,
With what red vintage wet?
In what wild way will they march or stray, by what sly paynims met?

The toil of it none may share;
By yourself must the way be won
Through fervid or frozen air
Till the overland journey's done;
And I would not take, for your own dear sake, one thorn from your track,
my son.

Go forth to your hill and dale,
Yet take in your hand from me
A staff when your footsteps fail,
A weapon if need there be;
'Twill hum in your ear when the foeman's near, athirst for the victory.

In the desert of dusty death
It will point to the hidden spring;
Should you weary and fail for breath,
It will burgeon and branch and swing
Till you sink to sleep in its shadow deep to the sound of its murmuring.

You must face the general foe --
A phantom pale and grim.
If you flinch at his glare, he'll grow
And gather your strength to him;
But your power will rise if you laugh in his eyes and away in a mist
he'll swim.

To your freeborn soul be true --
Fling parchment in the fire;
Men's laws are null for you,
For a word of Love is higher,
And can you do aught, when He rules your thought, but follow your own desire?

You will dread no pinching dearth
In the home where you love to lie,
For your floor will be good brown earth
And your roof the open sky.
There'll be room for all at your festival when the heart-red wine runs high.

Joy to you, joy and strife
And a golden East before,
And the sound of the sea of life
In your ears when you reach the shore,
And a hope that still with as good a will you may fight as you fought of yore.

Font size:
 

Submitted on May 13, 2011

1:40 min read
70 Views

John Le Gay Brereton

John Le Gay Brereton was an Australian poet, critic and professor of English at the University of Sydney. He was the first president of the Fellowship of Australian Writers when it was formed in Sydney in 1928. more…

All John Le Gay Brereton poems | John Le Gay Brereton Books

FAVORITE (0 fans)

Discuss this John Le Gay Brereton poem with the community:

0 Comments

    Translation

    Find a translation for this poem in other languages:

    Select another language:

    • - Select -
    • 简体中文 (Chinese - Simplified)
    • 繁體中文 (Chinese - Traditional)
    • Español (Spanish)
    • Esperanto (Esperanto)
    • 日本語 (Japanese)
    • Português (Portuguese)
    • Deutsch (German)
    • العربية (Arabic)
    • Français (French)
    • Русский (Russian)
    • ಕನ್ನಡ (Kannada)
    • 한국어 (Korean)
    • עברית (Hebrew)
    • Gaeilge (Irish)
    • Українська (Ukrainian)
    • اردو (Urdu)
    • Magyar (Hungarian)
    • मानक हिन्दी (Hindi)
    • Indonesia (Indonesian)
    • Italiano (Italian)
    • தமிழ் (Tamil)
    • Türkçe (Turkish)
    • తెలుగు (Telugu)
    • ภาษาไทย (Thai)
    • Tiếng Việt (Vietnamese)
    • Čeština (Czech)
    • Polski (Polish)
    • Bahasa Indonesia (Indonesian)
    • Românește (Romanian)
    • Nederlands (Dutch)
    • Ελληνικά (Greek)
    • Latinum (Latin)
    • Svenska (Swedish)
    • Dansk (Danish)
    • Suomi (Finnish)
    • فارسی (Persian)
    • ייִדיש (Yiddish)
    • հայերեն (Armenian)
    • Norsk (Norwegian)
    • English (English)

    Citation

    Use the citation below to add this poem to your bibliography:

    Style:MLAChicagoAPA

    "Wilfred" Poetry.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2021. Web. 6 Dec. 2021. <https://www.poetry.com/poem/23726/wilfred>.

    Become a member!

    Join our community of poets and poetry lovers to share your work and offer feedback and encouragement to writers all over the world!

    More poems by

    John Le Gay Brereton

    »

    Browse Poetry.com

    Quiz

    Are you a poetry master?

    »
    "I celebrate myself, and sing myself."
    • A. Walt Whitman
    • B. Countee Cullen
    • C. William Wordsworth
    • D. Billy Collins

    Our favorite collection of

    Famous Poets

    »