Works in the Herald 1933
Men knew and loved my calling in old days --
   Days ere a bitter wisdom taught me fear.
Trusting and unafraid, I went my ways
   By many a crude hut of the pioneer;
Calling by paths where lonely axemen strode,
   By new-cleared farmland yet to know the plough;
Calling by deep sled-track and bullock road . . .
But where today man builds his last abode
   Few hear my calling now.
Too trusting.  When they found my flesh was sweet --
   Was sweet and white and succulent withal --
What mattered beauty?  I was good to eat!
   Then trust was my undoing; and my call
A summons to men's hunger and the chase --
   A tame, ignoble chase with me the prey --
Till far into some secret forest place
I fled, with that poor remant of my race
   I hiding here today.
And only by lost paths o'ergrown with fern --
   By old, abandoned tracks in scrubs remote --
You may, by chance, around a sudden turn,
   Win some brief, fleeting glance of my grey coat.
Then, with a swift wing-clapping, I am hence;
   Or, crouching down, ingenuously seek
To merge my colors with the brush-wood dense
And trick the spoiler, with the vain defence
   Of earth's harried meek.

Herald, 20 June 1933, p6

Copyright © Perry Middlemiss 2005