Lines and Figures

Original Text: 

The Poetical Works of Charles Harpur, ed. Elizabeth Perkins (London, Sydney and Melbourne: Angus & Robertson, 1984): 387. Online at the University of Sydney Library at

1There is no curve of sea or sky,
2No turn of hill-top far defined,
3Without some fitness for the eye,
4Some meaning for the mind.
5There is no checkered play of light
6In tree-tops by the sunshine wrought,
7Without its pleasure for our sight --
8Its beauty for our thought.
9No time-hewn arch of rock is found,
10'Neath which some torrent's waters roll,
11but hath its import and its bound
12in measures of the soul.
13All straight lines meeting, hint the way
14How like things best to union run:
15All circles type the Perfect -- yea,
16The all-enclosing One.
17All fancied points produce, that flow
18From isle to isle or star to star, --
19All carry with them as they go
20The Beautiful afar.
RPO poem Editors: 
Cameron La Follette
Data entry: Sharine Leung