She knows the Mallee's tragedy Of thwarted hope, of pain, Of promise wrecked, when weak men flee And strong men pray in vain; While day on burning day drifts by Beneath a brazen, cloudless sky. She knows the bane of Mallee dust When Mallee droughts come down To filch the last of lingering trust And darken her small town -- Darken men's hearts and minds until Nought serves her, save a stubborn will. All this she knows. Yet she knows, too -- On thro' the tale of years The changing luck of gamblers, who Undaunted, scorning fears Strive on, till fickle fortune rains A wondrous gift of sudden gains. And then she knows that mystic thing Her jealous earth concealed -- The glory of a Mallee spring And many a fruitful yield Of green corn quickened by sweet showers, And kine that flatten mid the flowers. So has she lived beside her lake The good and bad years thro'; Till man-made streams now flow to slake Her thirsty earth anew, And man's unconquered will has planned New life for this unstable land. And who shall say no day may dawn When, from the Mallee's soil Drought's fingers are at last withdrawn, Seeking no more their spoil; And, man and Nature in accord, Win, year by year, toll's meet reward.
|Copyright © Perry Middlemiss 2002-06|