Palm Beach. The Rock Pool by Ethel Turner

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God in a delicate mood parted these headlands,
   Bade His unwearying waters fret Him a bay.
All the bright breakers sang at the chance to adore Him,
   All the blue breakers rolled from His feet to obey.

Cream as the clouds curves the sand where the light foam races,
   Green, all a-patterned with grey is the gown of the land,
The land stepping down, austere, from the hill-top places
   The sky in her hair and her silver feet in the sand.  

There is a pool by the cliffs that the waves wash over,
   A clean-cut pool where a child may dive and play.
Low on the rocks it lies, like a sky-dropped mirror,
   Never a light but it catches the live-long day.

For I have waked with the sun not over the headland,
   All of the sea sun-grey, with one thrust of jade,
And in the heart of the pool, like a jewel lying,
   One point of light from the cold green thrusting made.

Nearer the top of the hill, the slow sun struggles,
   Primrose drifts on the sea with one purple stain,
And now in the pool's pale silver, is lying, lovely.
   Violet, amethyst, amethyst, violet again.

Wild rose in the pool, white clouds and the sunset's rainbow,
   A moon in the pool, a shy moon, bathing alone,
And, as I sleep, the stars sown in millions around me,
   One shoots down and drowns in it like a stone.

God, in a delicate mood, parted these headlands,
   God let the breakers fret Him this delicate bay,
Man made the pool, the clean-cut pool in the boulders,
   God, in a delicate mood, glances its way.      

First published in The Sydney Morning Herald, 6 February 1926

Author: Ethel Mary Turner (1870-1958)  was born at Balby, Yorkshire, England and migrated to Australia with her mother and sisters in 1879.  By that time her mother had been widowed twice - the second husband provided Turner with her professional writing name.  After an education at Sydney Girls' High School, Turner had her first short story published in The Bulletin in 1893, with her best known work, the children's novel Seven Little Australians, appearing in 1894.   Although best known as a writer for children Turner wrote some poetry, though she was by no means prolific in that form.

Author reference sites: Austlit, Australian Dictionary of Biography

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This page contains a single entry by Perry Middlemiss published on February 6, 2011 8:09 AM.

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