Poem: Songs That I Know by A.G. MacGregor

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I know the songs of ancient Greece and Rome,   
Of Jason faring forth across the foam
To win the fleece, and safely bring it home.  
Narcissus, who was punished for conceit,
And Amazons who scorned the fireside seat,
But with the fiercest warriors would compete.
These songs I know and love!  

I know the English songs of Wode and Thor;
Of Jack o' Lanterns, dancing on the moor,
And witches burned by judgment of the law.   
I also know those songs of dim blue sky,
Of ordered woods and fields of golden rye,
Of trim clipped hedge, and brooks where fat trout lie.
These songs I know and love!

Then some quite other songs from these I know;
Sung by a friendly bunyip, whispering low,
Of warriors and lubras long ago,
Whose only dogs were warrigals made tame.   
Who danced corroborees and hunted game  
Around Port Jackson, long before we came.
These songs I know and love!

But dearer to my heart than all of these
Are those sweet songs, borne on each scented breeze
From wattle groves where sip the native bees.   
Give me the joyfully tinkling waterfall,
Half hidden by great spreading treeferns tall.   
These are the songs that do my heart enthral.   
These songs I know and love!  

I know the song each shy bush dweller sings,
From daybreak, when a small grey bellbird rings --
"Awake thou lazy one and stretch thy wings!"
Till all the golden air with sound vibrates
And every feathery throat with song pulsates
To join their music with wild mountain spates.
These songs I know and love!  

Oh, give to me the songs of mountain trails,
Where tall gums groan in grip of Winter's gales:  
Where golden glow of camp-fire leaps and fades,  
And kookaburras laugh the sun to rest
Behind grey mountains in a crimson West.
Of all the songs, my own land's I love best.
Her songs I know and love!  

First published in The Sydney Morning Herald, 8 November 1930

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This page contains a single entry by Perry Middlemiss published on September 29, 2012 9:11 AM.

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