Return by Kathleen Dalziel

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Only the seas would be the same if I went back there now.
Only the same wild dawns would flame over the mountain's brow.
Only the great dark clouds would come and the great dark clouds would go --
I would find the seas and the skies of home, but home I would never know.

Stranger faces where strangers bide, for the kindly hearts that were,
The hearts gone over the Great Divide this many a year and year:
Streets where the footways used to run, town where the gum-trees grew,
The same old seas and skies and sun, and all the rest of it new!

Only the sea in the scarlet dawn, only the morning star,
Only the veils of violet drawn where the hills of evening are;
Only the roar when the tide turns round, only the song of the tide --
Sky and ocean and cloud and sound, and nothing the same beside!

They hacked the forest and hewed the hill, and the face of the earth is changed,
But the white caps play in a south wind still, and the skies are not estranged:
And still are the summer days blue and long, and the winters big with rain --
And I would be one who could not belong if I went back home again!

I know if I saw the place once more I would break my heart almost
With the breaking waves on a stranger shore on a windy autumn coast,
And sense the truth through an exile's pain of a right that is somehow wrong.
I never can win me home again -- I have missed my way too long.

First published in The Bulletin, 27 April 1932

Author reference site: Austlit

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This page contains a single entry by Perry Middlemiss published on April 27, 2014 8:30 AM.

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