The Singing Garden
Now is the healing, quiet hour that fills
   This gay, green world with peace and grateful rest.
Where lately over opalescent hills
   The blood of slain Day reddened all the west,
   Now comes at Night's behest,
A glow that over all the forest spills,
As with the gold of promised daffodils.
   Of all hours this is best.

It is time for thoughts of holy things, Of half-forgotten friends and one's own folk. O'er all, the garden-scented sweetness clings To mingle with the wood fire's drifting smoke. A bull-frog's startled croak Sounds from the gully where the last bird sings His laggard vesper hymn, with folded wings; And night spreads forth her cloak.
Keeping their vigil where the great range yearns, Like rigid sentries stand the wise old gums. On blundering wings a night-moth wheels and turns And lumbers on, mingling its drowsy hums With that far roll of drums, Where the swift creek goes tumbling amidst the ferns... Now, as the first star in the zenith burns, The dear, soft darkness comes.

The Herald 11 December 1931, p6

This poem was originally published in the Herald under the title "In a Forest Garden". There are a couple of changes from the original which read:
Verse 1 line 8 - "As with the gold of vanished daffodils."
Verse 3 line 2 - "Like rigid sentries stand the giant gums."
Verse 3 line 8 - "The kind, soft darkness comes."

Copyright © Perry Middlemiss 2002