Wood Smoke by Kathleen Dalziel

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A whiff of wood smoke in the rain,  
   A tang of earth scents drifting grey,  
And all my heart is home again,
   Beyond the hills of Emu Bay.

The dark Tasmanian forest dreamed
   Down to the skyline, sunset-tipped; 
Blackwood and myrtle, dusky beamed,
   And fringed pine, and eucalypt. 

The molten light in mellow miles
   Along the ringbarked clearings lay; 
The hollows marked in hazy aisles
   The quickening end of quiet day. 

I saw the silver-wattle's grove,
   Whose early golds to spring belong,
The creek that through the tea-tree wove
   Its threaded loops of silver song. 

Gold sunbeams in a dusty shower
   Filtered through ancient orchard boughs; 
I heard across the evening hour
   The youngsters, bringing up the cows. 

All heaven's wild roses died away
   In widening deeps of amethyst;
Stockyard and haystacks sank to grey
   In the uprising evening mist.

Within the doorway's dusky frame
   The firelight flickers as of old; 
Beams of a household altar flame
   Long, long ago burnt out and cold. 

Motionless in a pearly heaven
   The chimney smoke suspended curled; 
Sad ancient sorcery that, even
   Now, wafts me to another world.

Oh! vanished years, oh habitude
   Of childhood's joy and childhood's pain! 
Yet would I, even If I could
   Turn back the tired years again?

A whiff of wood smoke in the rain,
   A tang of earth scents drifting grey -- 
And all my heart is home again
   Beyond the hills of Emu Bay.  

First published in The Sydney Morning Herald, 11 April 1931

Author reference site: Austlit

See also

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This page contains a single entry by Perry Middlemiss published on April 11, 2014 9:49 AM.

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