From Manly by Marjorie Quinn

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As morn comes stealing stealing on the sea,
I watch its advent, like a devotee.
The sun-rays reach South Head, their seeking light
Touching the Light-House to a shining white;
North Head in shadow and a hill-side green,
Below, the long red roofs of Quarantine.

How still the sea sleeps! Scarce a ripple stirs
Its silken surface: few the voyagers
Who vex its calm. While sail no questing ships,
Down to its breast the wheeling sea-gull dips.
Beyond the Light-House high upon South Head,
The red-roofed houses down the slopes are spread.

The day comes, heralded by peace, serene;
Night follows on its heel -- and what between?
Peace? Or the storm that takes unerring toll
While through the Heads the long waves surge and roll,
To break upon the rocks within the bay,
In beaten foam and snowy-frosted spray?  
Peace on the sea and in the heart of man,
In these short hours the flying moments span,
Or tempest, wreaking its impetuous will
On man and sea, till rage has had its fill!

The day breaks fair; this much the seeker knows,
Nor he, nor any, may descry its close,
Though it shine fair, alas! that grief and pain
May be its servants, treading in its train.

On many, many days the harbour lies,
Dreaming in loveliness beneath bright skies;
On many, many days a man shall be
Rich in small joys, with home his Treasury.

First published in The Sydney Morning Herald, 3 February 1934

Author reference site: Austlit

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This page contains a single entry by Perry Middlemiss published on February 3, 2012 6:34 AM.

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