Boronia by Mary Fortune

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Welcome, sweet Spring, but not for wealth
   Of wattle bloom, or daffodil,
Or violets, or lilies fair,
   Or perfumed, pale jonquil;
We love them all, but willingly
   We would them all delete,
Rather than lose thy heavenly breath,
   Boronia, brown and sweet.

Thou fair, fair West, what wealth is then,
   Thy kauri forests grand,
Thy happy homesteads, and thy stretch
   Of green, productive land;
Thy streamlets margined rich with flowers,
   Thy rivers deep and wide,
Where the graceful black swans thou hast limned
   For thy insignia glide.

Thou hast thy "Gold of Ophir," too,
   Where in the deep, dark mine,
With hidden wealth for workers' hands
   The wine-red rubies shine;
We envy not thee one or all,
   But gladly turn to greet
Thy spring-sent messages of love,
   In brown Boronia sweet.

The lover lays thee on his lips,
   And sighs for kisses fled,
The mother lays thee on her breast,
   And weeps her baby dead;
I place thy by my weakling pen,
   And Heaven-sent tidings greet,
For well I know thou hast been there,
   Boronia, brown and sweet.

First published in The Australasian, 23 September 1907

Author: Mary Helena Fortune (nee Wilson) (1833?-1910?) was born in Belfast and emigrated to Canada as a child.  While there she married Joseph Fortune in 1851.  When her father emigrated to Australia in 1855 Fortune followed him with her child, probably leaving her husband behind.  For the rest of her life she supported her family by her writing, mainly in The Australian Journal.  She is best known for her detective stories and other works, including poetry, under the pseudonym "Waif Wander".  She died in Melbourne sometime around 1910.

Author reference sites: Austlit, Australian Dictionary of Biography

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This page contains a single entry by Perry Middlemiss published on September 23, 2011 6:50 AM.

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