Apple Isle by Kathleen Dalziel

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When the night hours gather grey,
   I am back to the days of old,
Where the seeding grasses sway
   By the Capeweeds' cloth o' gold.
Dimmed by dust and choked with drouth,
   How my spirit longs awhile
For the havens of the south,
   Far way in Apple Isle!

For the russet roads and green
   Through the brackens and the musk --
Dappled ways that wind between;
   Bronzewings crooning in the dusk.
When the west flames into flower,
   fern and feathery grasses mark.
Goblin crickets call the hour,
   First the daylight and the dark.

Purples on the eastern hill;
   Towering spurs of eucalyptus;
Dells where dusky blackwoods spill
   Scented showers, downward dripped.
Night along the range remote,
   Stirring to a seaward breeze,
With a brown owl's haunting note
   Mourning from the myrtle trees.

When the month's enchanted smile
   Past the blue dividing sea,
All along by Apple Isle
   (Land of yesteryear for me)
I remember moonrise hours,
   And the molten paths that lay
Where the star shine breaks in showers
   Eastward over Emu Bay.

Love and youth have left me one,
   Faith and friendship fallen behind;
Still I hear the woodnotes blown --
   Pipes of Pan -- along the wind;
Find enchanted asphodels,
   Dream immortal melodies,
In the swing of wildflower bells
   And the surge of summer seas.

When the whispering trees are bowed,
   Still I find the glamor grows
In the color of a cloud
   Or the ruffling of a rose;
By the rain bowed waterfalls
   Catch the faĆ«ry light that gleams,
Hear the wondrous madrigals
   Weaving through my misty dreams.

Could I take my way to-night
   Down the bracken-bordered road,
Find the lanes of lost delight
   where the saffron sunset glowed,
I should ask no other boon,
   When the blossoming orchards smile
Underneath a curving moon
   Far away in Apple Isle.

First published in The Bulletin, 20 January 1927

Author reference site: Austlit

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This page contains a single entry by Perry Middlemiss published on January 20, 2014 7:34 AM.

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