The Secret Key and Other Verses


George Essex Evans

WHEN from his place a forest monarch falls,
    A thunder shakes the leafy leagues across,
Reverberating to its utmost walls:
    So through an Empire rings this sound of loss.

Still, as of old, the kingless forest-aisles
    We see—but not the strength that was their fame:
So, at Death’s voice, far from his kingless aisles
    The last Great Tribune answers to his name.

Nature, that builds great minds for mighty tasks,
    Sculptured his frame to match the soul within;
Taught him how wisdom wields the power it asks;
    For each new conquest set him more to win.

Rough-hewn was he for power, a massive mould,
    Broad-brained, far-sighted, honourable, free
From narrowing envy, with a heart of gold
    As wide and deep and dominant as the sea.

He passes, but his memory is power.
    Behind him lives the good that none may stay;
His name remains a beacon-light, a tower
    By which all feebler hearts may guide their way.

Come, let us follow him with reverent feet,
    With fern and rata twine the wattle fair;
Tread soft: a mighty heart has ceased to beat
    And one of Nature’s kings is sleeping there.

The Secret Key and Other Verses - Contents

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