Works in the Herald 1933
Far in the forest depths I dwell,
   The master mimic of them all,
To pour from out my secret dell
   Echo of many a bushland call,
That over all the forest spills;
   Echo of many a birdland note,
When out about the timbered hills
Sounds all that borrowed lore that fills
               My magic throat.
I am the artist.  Songs to me
   From all this gay green land are sped;
And when the wondrous canopy
   Of my great, fronded tail is spread --
A glorious veil, at even's hush --
   Above my head, I do my part;
Then wren and robin, finch and thrush-
All are re-echoed in a rush
               Of perfect art.
Here by my regal throne of state,
   To serve me for a swift retreat,
The little runways radiate;
   And when the tread of alien feet
Draws near I vanish: ever prone
   To quick alarm when aught offends
That secret ritual of the throne.
My songs are for my mate alone,
               And favoured friends.
I am the artist.  None may find,
   In all the world, a match for me:
Rare feathered loveliness combined
   With such enchanting minstrelsy.
In a land vocal with gay song
   I choose whate'er I may require;
I wait, I listen all day long,
Then to the music of a throng
               I tune my lyre.

Herald, 4 July 1933, p6 - Number 48 in the Bush Birds series.
This poem was also published in The Singing Garden under the title "The Lyretail".

Copyright © Perry Middlemiss 2002