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Walter Murdoch (1874–1970). The Oxford Book of Australasian Verse. 1918.

. Preface

COLLECTED here from Homeward, Songs by the Way, The Earth Breath, and The Divine Vision, with such new verses as I thought of equal mood, this book holds what poetry of mine I would wish my friends to read. I have omitted what in colder hours seemed to me to have failed to preserve some heat of the imagination; but in that colder mood I have made but slight revision of those retained. However imperfect they seemed, I did not feel that I could in after hours melt and remould and make perfect the form if I was unable to do so in the intensity of conception, when I was in those heavens we breathe for a moment and then find they are not for our clay. When I first discovered for myself how near was the King in His beauty I thought I would be the singer of the happiest songs. Forgive me, Spirit of my spirit, for this, that I have found it easier to read the mystery told in tears and understood Thee better in sorrow than in joy; that, though I would not, I have made the way seem thorny, and have wandered in too many byways, imagining myself into moods which held Thee not. I should have parted the true from the false, but I have not yet passed away from myself who am in the words of this book. Time is a swift winnower, and that he will do quickly for me.

A. E.