The Corduroy Road by Kathleen Dalziel

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It curved by the foot of the cloud-crested mountain,
   It climbed by the edge of the tussock-grass plain,
By glens where the clematis fell like a fountain
   Of stars to the fern-gullies' fairy domain;
Through a wedge in the range where the waratahs blossomed,
   And the platypus shy had his watery abode,
Where the broken stream raced through a valley, deep-bosomed
   With myrtle and musk, ran the corduroy road.

The silver-white read, where the hoar frost was sprinkled
   Like diamond dust over culvert and crown,
When every archway with emeralds twinkled,
   And every fern-frond with crystal dripped down;
The green-bowered road, in the blue of the summer,
   When bright parrakeets in the gum-blossom glowed,
And the eaglehawk circled, a kingly far-comer,
   High over the heights of the corduroy road.

The corduroy road is a long-banished byway,
   For Progress, that spins at the wheel of car,
Has turned the lone track to a rolling broad highway,
   That's reeking of petrol and smelling of tar.
Though the young saplings lift where the summer lies sorest
   On bare, ringbarked paddocks where giants corrode,
They are not the old kings of the eucalypt forest
   That rose by the curve of the corduroy road.

Though the silver-white clouds are as kindly as ever,
   The blue of the morning as mistily deep.
No more the shy platypus plays in the river,
   No more the red waratah flames on the steep.
Long, long it is now since enchantment would take me
   By the hand to adventure the fern-trees' abode,
Yet memory stirs from her silence to make me
   A rhyme of regret for the corduroy road.

First published in The Bulletin, 28 February 1934

Author reference site: Austlit

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This page contains a single entry by Perry Middlemiss published on February 28, 2014 7:23 AM.

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