Deserted Garden by Kathleen Dalziel

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This is the garden of used-to-be,
Set like an isle in an inland sea
Of grey bush rolling to leafy shallows,
On the outer edge of the hill country.

Once it was tended and kept, but, oh!
Closer and closer the saplings grow,
And the bracken gropes by the wicket-gateway;
And the silk of the thistle is spun below.

Once it was colour and scent and rain
Of bud and bloom in the roses' train;
Now there are only the oleanders
To keep their tryst with summer again.

Only the oleanders gay,
Tossing their plumes to the winds to-day,
The low winds, dusking the lonely levels
Of the brimming swamps where the wild ducks play.

Ever so lonely the gaunt hill's face,
Ever so lonely the haunted place
Where they (that fought and were sore defeated)
Lived and loved for a little space.

Here where valour and toil, hope-crowned
Lie at the end in a sleep profound.
Surely it seems that the oleanders
Scatter their petals on holy ground.

First published in The Sydney Morning Herald, 27 September 1930

Author reference sites: Austlit

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This page contains a single entry by Perry Middlemiss published on September 27, 2011 6:57 AM.

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Australian Poets #28 - J. Brunton Stephens is the next entry in this blog.

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