The Greater Love

Roderic Quinn 1867 (Surry Hills, New South Wales) – 1949 (Darlinghurst, New South Wales)

ONCE upon a time,
Little Golden-Head,
Steeples used to chime,
And their chiming said:
'Peace is in the land —
Joy on every hand.'
Glowing youths and men
Rose and went their ways,
Some to hill and glen,
Some to shining bays.
And they left behind
Ills of heart and mind.
Oh, but it was sweet
Underneath the trees,
Bare of throat and feet,
Bathed in golden ease,
Two and two to lie
While the hours went by!
Sweet indeed it was
Thus to lie and laze,
Couched upon the grass
Through the shining days —
Sweet to breathe the air,
Free of toil and care!
On the beaches then,
Sporting with the sea,
Gathered brown-limbed men
Graced like statuary
Chiselled by some bold
Master hand of old.
All were guests of Joy;
All his sportive clan —
Here a shouting boy,
There a jesting man,
While the breakers hymned,
Braving them, stout-limbed.
Listen, Golden-Head!
Came a Wondrous One
Unto each, and said:
'Look on me, my son!
Am I not above
All things else you love?'
Then that love began
Which is more than life —
More than love of man,
Love of maid or wife;
Love of queen or king,
Aught or anything.
Little Golden-Head,
Is it well to tell
How they wrought and bled,
How they fought and fell
In their glowing prime,
Once upon a time?
Nay, but it is writ
That such things must be;
Oh the shame of it,
Oh the tragedy!
Oh the days of rue,
Oh the glory, too!
Little Golden-Head,
By the skies above,
By our honoured dead,
You shall know that love —
Know, and hold the time
When 'twas born sublime!

Font size:
Collection  PDF     

Submitted on May 13, 2011

Modified on March 05, 2023

1:25 min read

Quick analysis:

Scheme ABabccdedeffghghiijekelldmdmnnopopbqbrbrssptptuuBvbvaAwmwmxxBsbsaa
Closest metre Iambic trimeter
Characters 1,427
Words 286
Stanzas 1
Stanza Lengths 66

Roderic Quinn

Roderic Joseph Quinn was an Australian poet. more…

All Roderic Quinn poems | Roderic Quinn Books

1 fan

Discuss the poem The Greater Love with the community...



    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)


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


    "The Greater Love" STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 25 Jun 2024. <>.

    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!

    June 2024

    Poetry Contest

    Join our monthly contest for an opportunity to win cash prizes and attain global acclaim for your talent.

    Special Program

    Earn Rewards!

    Unlock exciting rewards such as a free mug and free contest pass by commenting on fellow members' poems today!



    Are you a poetry master?

    William Blake: "Tiger Tiger, burning bright, In the forests of the _________".
    A knight
    B bites
    C fight
    D night