The House with the Tiled Roof by Myra Morris

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The house with tiles along its roof,
   Has dragons crouching at the doors,
That upward gaze in mild reproof,
   And parquetry verandah-floors.

Bright purple flames of flowers blaze
   Across the whiteness of its walls,
And dappled little garden-ways
   Are glimpsed from glassy, curtained halls.

Yet here I languish touched with pain,
   A wandering spirit, lost, aloof,
Because I cannot hear the rain
   Beating at night upon the roof.

Outside, the dark flows vague and wide,
   The world in tingling storm is drowned;
Yet lapped in peace I lie inside
   And hear no single breath of sound.

There was a tiny house I knew, 
   With roof of ugly, rusted tin,
And blackened chimneys all askew,
   Where, dancing out, and dancing in,

The rain with dusty odors fraught,
   Would croon a song of freshened things;
And I remember how it brought
   Contentment on its silver wings.

On thinking back I sleep again
   Beside the stirless billabong,
Hearing on tented roof the rain
   Drum with a muffled litre song.

Hearing above the grieving sky,
   Above the moaning of the sea,
The black swans flute as they owing by
   Unto some bourne of mystery!

So wrapped in silence, rainsong-proof,
   Rearing with pride each splendid room,
The house with tiles along he roof
   Is nothing but a prison-tomb.

First published in The Bulletin, 13 February 1929

Author reference sites: AustlitAustralian Dictionary of Biography

See also.

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This page contains a single entry by Perry Middlemiss published on February 13, 2014 7:30 AM.

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