.

Little to Regret

When Time has stilled my body
__Think of me now and then,
Asleep beneath the wattle,
__Which flowers yet again.
And as the summer follows
__With rays I cannot see,
Let the warmth embrace you—
__My passion cannot be!

And when your time approaches
__(In many years I trust)
Be reassured my darling,
__Though I have turned to dust,
That when you lie beside me
__I’ll recognise you yet,
And sleep a deeper sleep—
__With little to regret.

.

.

David Watt is a writer from Canberra, the “Bush Capital” of Australia. He has contributed regularly to Collections of Poetry and Prose by Robin Barratt. When not working for IP (Intellectual Property) Australia, he finds time to appreciate the intrinsic beauty of traditional rhyming poetry.


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18 Responses

  1. Brian Yapko

    This is so sad and beautiful, David. Thank you for this lovely, heartfelt poem.

    Reply
    • David Watt

      Thank you so much Brian. It’s a simple poem, but written with feeling.

      Reply
  2. Paul Freeman

    Presses all the right buttons and sets off the sprinklers – nicely done David.

    Reply
  3. C.B. Anderson

    I had to look up “wattle” to find that the word can refer to any of various Australian trees or shrubs in the genus Acacia. I didn’t realize that the bush had such a bucolic feel to it.

    Reply
    • David Watt

      Kip, we have at least 800 species of Australian wattle, so the term covers a wide range of plants. However, the silvery-green leaves and golden flowers are typical of the vast majority. The Golden Wattle is the National flower of Australia. I guess that’s one reason why we view it in a pastoral light.

      Reply
  4. Cynthia Erlandson

    Lovely and moving! “Let the warmth embrace you — My passion cannot be!” is a brilliant thought, expressed with poetic conciseness.

    Reply
    • David Watt

      Thank you Cynthia. I’m gratified to know that you find this particular line well expressed.

      Reply
  5. Susan Jarvis Bryant

    David, this is a poetic testament to true love… an eternal love that waits patiently with a song of peace and wonder. The brevity is unusual for you and so effective. What better gift is the peace of “sleep a deeper sleep—/With little to regret.” I love it!

    Reply
    • David Watt

      Thank you very much Susan. This shorter piece is a change from my love of ballads, and generally longer pieces. Sometimes a simple thought can be easier to express effectively.

      Reply
  6. Margaret Coats

    Very clever play with speaker and addressee, David. Though both are living, this is almost a ghost poem, as the speaker imagines death and burial, then gently and lovingly considers his darling in the grave next his own. He will have warm recognition (no passion), the pleasure of which is a deeper sleep! This poem of lasting love is great twist on recalcitrant juvenile “No Regrets” such as current T-shirts display. And with just a single word, you made it Australian. Great work!

    Reply
    • David Watt

      Margaret, I hadn’t thought of the rebellious youth “No Regrets” comparison. You are right in that this demonstration of love is a more mature, even ghostly version of that aspiration. I couldn’t resist adding in the joyous gold of the wattle.

      Reply
  7. Jeff Eardley

    David, a change of tone from you with this heartbreaking piece. I was moved to tears by your words today. Well done.

    Reply
    • David Watt

      Jeff, I can’t think of a more touching response. Thanks for your appreciation.

      Reply

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