Deakin's passion for poetry
Together with his love for poetry was his love of swimming. Many a weekend he would take the steamer from Melbourne and spend the weekend at his seaside retreat Ballara in Point Lonsdale enjoyed swimming, reading, bicycling and writing.
As a lover of poetry, he read all the classics, Spencer, Blake, Keats, Shakespeare and Shelly, including french writers and poets Rousseau, Balzac, Sand, Maupassant and Daudet.
In his times of reflection he wrote ‘The Gospel according to Shakespeare.’ and "The Gospel according to Wordsworth"
‘My heart is always in the highlands of literature.’
"a spirit of emotion aroused by beauty and manifesting the love of beauty, together with the love of love and other passions which are kindled by beauty or associated with it and are capable of touching the heart by appeals to the senses of what is pure, noble or sublime"
Deakin discribes poetry as:
"O bird-song! can it be
That I, at last, am free
This mellow autumn morning-time, to muse and list to thee?
Returning to my own,
Myself my home - a throne
Of privacy in liberty - and a fresh seed to be sown.
The sunshine's misty gold
Sees leafage yellowing mould;
It floods my captive heart with youth when all seemed spent and old
Yes! tho' so late, I sing,
Race swallows on the wing,
Share their lightness and their brightness, speeding sunward to the Spring."
A few weeks after his defeat at the polls in April 1910 he was
again at Ballara and he wrote this poem expressing his thoughts on the current events: