Fantasy by Hugh McCrae

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I love to lie under the lemon
   That grows by the fountain;
To see the stars flutter and open
   Along the blue mountain.

To hear the last wonferful piping
   That rises to heaven
(Six quavers to sum up delight in,
   And sorrow in seven).

To dream that the mythic wood-women ----
   Each brown as the honey
The bees took their toll of, from Hybla,
   On days that were sunny --

Come parting the hedge of my garden
   To dance a light measure
with soft little feet, on the green sward,
   Peak-pointed for pleasure.

While Pan, on a leopard reclining,
   And birds on his shoulder,
Gives breath to a flute's wanton sighing
   Until their eyes smoulder.

Then, lo, in the pool of the valley
   Cries centaur to centaur,
As, plashing, they leap the white moon-buds
   The goddess had leant o'er.

They climb the steep sides of the chasm
   With hollowy thunder ---
Whole cliffs at the stroke of their hoof-beats
   Split, tumbling asunder!

They climb the steep sides of the chasm,
   And rush thro' the thicket
That chokes up the pathways that lead to
   My green garden-wicket.

They seize on the dancing wood-women,
   And kick poor Pan over
The back of his fat, spotted leopard
   Right into the clover.

So I wake, and eagerly listen,
   But only the fountain,
Still sleeping and sobbing, complains, at
   The foot of the mountain.

First published in The Bulletin, 21 March 1907, and again in the same magazine on 6 January 1910;
and later in
Poetry in Australia 1923;
An Australasian Anthology: Australian and New Zealand Poems edited by Percival Serle, R. H. Croll and Frank Wilmot, 1927;
The Poets' Harvest edited by E. W.Parker, 1943;
The Penguin Book of Australian Verse edited by Harry Heseltine, 1972; and
Australia Fair: Poems and Paintings edited by Douglas Stewart, 1974.

Author reference sites: Austlit, Australian Dictionary of Biography

See also.

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This page contains a single entry by Perry Middlemiss published on March 21, 2012 9:33 AM.

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