The Speech Of Flattery

Leon Gellert 1892 (Australia) – 1977

See how he lies, still mighty in his ease,
The fields' huge fear, the terrifying saint;
And nothing needed but his straightened knees,
A polished helm,-perhaps a little paint.
His breast is broad, as when behind the shield
He thrust its front across the clanging line,
And stood with Gore, as trembling armies kneeled
To lay their carven trophies at his shrine.
And now the very gates would yield at sight,
The earth cry 'Welcome' and the maidens sing
'The day has come, at last, lat last, the light!
Sick Peace is slain, and slaying War is king!'
Oh, even yet will Beauty yield to Might,
And deck his couch while Numa's temples ring.'

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

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Leon Gellert

Leon Maxwell Gellert was an Australian poet. He was born in Walkerville, a suburb of Adelaide, South Australia. He was subjected to bullying by his father, a Methodist of Hungarian extraction, to which he reacted by learning self-defence at the YMCA. After an education at Adelaide High School, he embarked on a teaching career; first as a student-teacher at Unley High School then at the University of Adelaide's Teacher Training College. He enlisted with the Australian Imperial Forces 10th Battalion within weeks of the outbreak of the Great War and sailed for Cairo on 22 October 1914. He landed at Ari Burnu Beach, Gallipoli on 25 April 1915, was wounded and repatriated as medically unfit in June 1916. He attempted to re-enlist but was soon found out. He returned to teaching at Norwood Public School. During periods of inactivity he had been indulging his appetite for writing poetry. Songs of a Campaign was his first published book of verse, and was favourably reviewed by The Bulletin. Angus & Robertson soon published a new edition, illustrated by Norman Lindsay. His second, The Isle of San, also illustrated by Lindsay, was not so well received however. more…

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    "The Speech Of Flattery" Poetry.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2020. Web. 24 Sep. 2020. <https://www.poetry.net/poem/25481/the-speech-of-flattery>.

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