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'The Poetry of Inglis Clark' by Richard Ely Link to PDF
from: R. Ely, with M. Haward and James Warden (eds.), A Living Force: Andrew Inglis Clark and the Ideal of Commonwealth, Hobart: Centre for Tasmanian Historical Studies, 2001, pp.185-207.

Andrew Inglis Clark (1848-1907)
Ave Atque Vale

At the Circus

I look upon the sea
Of children's faces upon every side,
And there came back to me
The days and scenes wherein the purple tide
Of joy was at the flood
In every vein through which my beating heart
Propelled the eager blood
That flushed my cheeks and set my lips apart,
As horse and rider sped
Within the Charmed ring that seemed to me
A truer heaven than that to which they said
Good children went to find their destiny.

But yet another joy I knew,
More constant in its magic power
To give the skies a deeper blue,
And every day the world renew
With glories of a dream and dower.

'Twas in my drum I found that joy,
Its rattle told a tale to me
That never since to man or boy
Was told again, nor could it be;

For each new soul that wanders down
To this sad earth from realms afar,
To find his fate as lord or clown,
Brings with him from his natal star
A memory that is all his own,
Of glories that for him alone,
The sight and sounds of earth recall.
Hence in the rattle of my drum
I heard sweet sounds that seemed to come
From that far home beyond the wall
that earth and sky built day [by] day
Around me as I learned to stray
Farther and farther from its light;
And when my soul shall take its flight
To find another place of birth,
I shall ask no more to make complete
The joy I knew when a child on earth,
If they give me a drum in that realm to beat.

Clark Papers, C4/H13.
In every human heart is mystery,
which is at least something
we have in common
with our predecessors.(Richard Ely)



Last Modified: 24-Oct-2003