The Singing Garden
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.

The Herald 4 July 1933, p6 - Number 48 in the Bush Birds series under the title "The Lyre-Tailed Menura".

Copyright © Perry Middlemiss 2002