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Mockery

I met my love a-weeping,
Weeping in the night-tide pale;
Her head among the lily bloom,
Weeping by an empty tomb—
An unshut tomb.
I gently stroked her golden hair
That shone so
With the moon-glow
In the sad-sweet air.
Like playful breezes from the south
Came soft smile-dimples to her mouth;
And when again she seemed to weep
I kissed her wild-wide eyes to sleep;
While there beyond the lily bloom
I saw the watching, waiting tomb.

I left my love a-sleeping,
Sleeping in the cypress vale;
Smiling sadly in the gloom;
Sleeping in the fastened tomb—
The tight-shut tomb.
How round the tomb the moving mists
Will twirl so
When the wind blows,
That the ivy twists
And shudders round the cold grey stone:
A serpent on a crumbling throne.
While I, upon a nearby mound
Hear salt tears soaking in the ground;
But there, when’er the lilies bloom,
I hear low laughter in the tomb.

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

48 sec read
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Leon Gellert

Leon Maxwell Gellert was an Australian poet. He was born in Walkerville, a suburb of Adelaide, South Australia. He was subjected to bullying by his father, a Methodist of Hungarian extraction, to which he reacted by learning self-defence at the YMCA. After an education at Adelaide High School, he embarked on a teaching career; first as a student-teacher at Unley High School then at the University of Adelaide's Teacher Training College. He enlisted with the Australian Imperial Forces 10th Battalion within weeks of the outbreak of the Great War and sailed for Cairo on 22 October 1914. He landed at Ari Burnu Beach, Gallipoli on 25 April 1915, was wounded and repatriated as medically unfit in June 1916. He attempted to re-enlist but was soon found out. He returned to teaching at Norwood Public School. During periods of inactivity he had been indulging his appetite for writing poetry. Songs of a Campaign was his first published book of verse, and was favourably reviewed by The Bulletin. Angus & Robertson soon published a new edition, illustrated by Norman Lindsay. His second, The Isle of San, also illustrated by Lindsay, was not so well received however. more…

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