A Little Bush Girl by Robert Richardson

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Madge sits alone at the close of day
   By the edge of the blue lagoon;
Among the reeds the breezes play
   A wandering woodland tune.
A magpie lights on a red-gum bough,
   And whistles clear and shrill;
The woods with gold and crimson glow
O'er gully, plain, and hill.

The wattle shakes its honey scent
   Upon the warm, sweet breeze;
The clematis its drift white tent
   Spreads for the roving bees.
Under a log a lizard slips
   Quick as a gleam of light.
Madge watches it with parted lips,
   And brown eyes wide and bright.

The sun drops in a crimson haze,
   The wind grows fresh and cool;
The frogs their long, quaint chorus raise
   From creek and marshy pool;
The cricket tunes his tiny trump
   As the short twilight falls;
And from the distant willow clump
   A lonely curlew calls.

Madge scans the sandy cattle track
   Until the cows appear;
She hears her father's stockwhip crack,
   Startling the evening air.
The patient cows -- Jess, Meg, and Pearl --
   Approach the milking rails,
Where mother and the dairy girl
   Wait with the shining pails.

The pageant of the stars unrolled,
   Makes the night glow like noon;
The Southern Cross gleams like pure gold,
   Gilding the dim lagoon.
Madge from her window waits to see
   The stars rise one by one;  
Then, with her prayer at mother's knee,
   Her day is sweetly done.

First published in Australian Town and Country Journal, 23 March 1901

Author: Robert Richardson (1850-1901) was born in New South Wales and completed a B.A. at the University of Sydney.  Best known as a writer for children - and possibly the first Australian born writer to be so titled - he wrote poetry mainly for the Sydney newspapers, especially the Australian Town and Country Journal.  He died in Armidale, New South Wales, in 1901.

Author reference site: Austlit

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This page contains a single entry by Perry Middlemiss published on March 23, 2011 8:41 AM.

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