Works in the Herald 1934
Dark lady of the laggard dawn,
   Hiding within her gully deep;
Long have night's curtains been withdrawn
   Before her earliest sun-shaft's peep.
And, long before the sun sinks down,
   Eve's eager shadows creep her way,
Committing to the sheltered town
   Nought but a niggard glimpse of day.

And shy enough she seems these days
   Who was, long since, belle of them all;
When booted diggers went their way
   Around about her ramparts tall.
Full generous she was and proud,
  Proffering gold by ton on ton,
Where once the toiling, teaming crowd
   Made most of her ungenerous fun.

For rich she was beyond belief --
   Full rich enough to make man's strife;
But her youth, like her day, was brief --
   Too brief, but filled with glamorous life
While her wealth spread her wide renown,
   While gold called to man's highest hopes
And urgent diggers crowded round
   By these, her mighty timbered slopes.

Now, as calm days come and go
   Peaceful her quiet hamlet sleeps
A full three thousand feet below
   The far crests of her wooded steeps;
And nought, save gnarled old English trees,
   Stir to recall dead day passed on,
To leave her with proud memories
   Of great and golden youth long gone.

Herald, 19 February 1934, p6

Copyright © Perry Middlemiss 2003-06