Alice Werner (1859-1935), castle, chivalry, â€˜Creeve Roeâ€™, Gothic medievalism, knight, L. D. (1859-1935), Lucia Di Valle Rojana (1859-1935), melancholia, poetry, romance, tournament, Victor Daley (1858-1905)
The long-vanished past is briefly reconfigured in this sad and poignant poem. It allows us a fleeting glimpse of what has (or may have) been, even though we find ourselves standing in the waking world â€œUnder blue skies in a fair land.â€ True Romance, it suggests, has gone the way of stately knights in armour, beautiful â€˜maidens forlorn,â€™ castles, and all the accoutrements and trappings of the chivalric medieval past. In gothic literary fashion the buildings, mores and customs have all crumbled, decayed, and vanished, and the poem â€œlament[s] the irredeemable loss of this world, which â€˜Ages ago [...] faded out and diedâ€™â€ (Louise D'Arcens, Old Songs in the Timeless Land: Medievalism in Australian Literature 1840-1910 Turnhout, Brepols, 2011, p.139). While these verses do convey sadness and melancholia, Australia was a new land, at least in terms of European settlement and influence, and so it can be concluded, as Louise Dâ€™Arcens suggests, that that, â€œthis melancholy poem is not coupled with any attempt to reanimate the spirit of nostalgia in the presentâ€ (Dâ€™Arcens, p.139).
L. D. (Alice Werner aka Lucia Di Valle Rojana)
15 August 1885 (p. 22)
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