In the Deer Park by Clarinda Parkes

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In the thick throng, of men, and mad. turmoil;
   'Tis well there should be left, beyond the press,     
Some interspaces of untrampled soil,   
   And guarded ground of woodland wilderness;  
Where, as one sang of old, no swath is mown,
   Nor any shepherd drives his flocks to graze;
Where, for all sound, the wild bee's wings alone
   Make murmurous music through the summer days;   
Whose trees are green undimmed by dust of crowded ways.      

Dear is the memory of those northern trees,
   Whereof some few have followed us thus far,   
To spread their boughs on unfamiliar breeze     
   Unchanged, as we, beneath an alien star;
The tasselled larch, in gloom of pines embrayed;
   The sailor oak, our fathers' trust of yore;       
The spreading chestnut's depth of caverned shade;
   The autumn scarlet of the sycamore;
And honeyed lime, whose bees still hymn her liberal store.

The mourning willow's veil of slender green,
   Along the hid course where the tiny brook         
Brings to the mere its tribute tear unseen;
   The rugged elm, whereon the civic rook
Most founds his black republic in the air,
   Or smoothest beech, whose soft and tender rind,
Love's register, seems formed express to bear
   Hearts arrow-pierced, initials intertwined,
As those in Arden bore the name of Rosalind.

Under their evening shadows, through the brake
   The tall deer steal like shadows, as they go
To dip soft muzzle in the dimpled lake,
   Where, wavering doubly wide, their antlers show.
Here, too, shall come, when darkness veils the view,
   A yet more delicate footfall. None hath seen   
The steps that deal it; but the morning's dew
   Leaves dry the trodden circle on the green,
Where merry fays have danced around their elfin queen.

First published in The Australian Town and Country Journal, 13 March 1897

Author reference site: Austlit

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This page contains a single entry by Perry Middlemiss published on March 13, 2012 7:15 AM.

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