The daylight is dying Away in the west, The wild birds are flying In silence to rest; In leafage and frondage Where shadows are deep, They pass to its bondage -- The kingdom of sleep. And watched in their sleeping By stars in the height, They rest in your keeping, Oh, wonderful night.
When night doth her glories Of starshine unfold, 'Tis then that the stories Of bush-land are told. Unnumbered I hold them In memories bright, But who could unfold them, Or read them aright? Beyond all denials The stars in their glories The breeze in the myalls Are part of these stories. The waving of grasses, The song of the river That sings as it passes For ever and ever, The hobble-chains' rattle, The calling of birds, The lowing of cattle Must blend with the words. Without these, indeed, you Would find it ere long, As though I should read you The words of a song That lamely would linger When lacking the rune, The voice of the singer, The lilt of the tune.
But, as one half-hearing An old-time refrain, With memory clearing, Recalls it again, These tales, roughly wrought of The bush and its ways, May call back a thought of The wandering days, And, blending with each In the mem'ries that throng, There haply shall reach You some echo of song.
Snowy River, 20 October 1895.