The Forest Thing by Mabel Forrest

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I was a thing of the forest time,
   And you were a thing of the sea;
And out of the flood you tried to climb --
Out of the weed and sand and slime,
   And there shingled beach, to me.

I was a thing of leaf and bud,
   And the sap in the thrilling bole;
And you were an eyeless spawn of mud,
Bubble-breather and brine for blood,
   And a blind, impotent soul.

I swung on a branch on a clear, blue sky,
   You rolled in a seaweed snare;
I flirted a squib at a butterfly,
Mocked the wind as it rustled by,
   And drank of the sun-sweet air.

You sighed in the dark on your pouchy floor,
   You sobbed on the shell's sharp rim.
And every ebb from the light-steeped shore,
Would fling you back with a spiteful roar,
   To your caverns green and dim.

I drew my life from the grass and mould,
   Where the oak and bracken grew;
And you were but drift where the breakers rolled --
Now your hair is pale as the seaweed's fold,
   And your eyes still keep the blue.

My hair is ruddy as good red earth,
   And my eyes are warm and dark,
As the bracken cowl ere the frond has birth,
And the bee and the moth have weighed its worth,
   Or the musky cedar's bark.

Then keep to your tide. O wooer mine!
   While I cling to my natal tree,
For your lips have a tang of the cold, cold brine,
And my blood is red as the earth's red wine,
   And I cannot bide the sea!

First published in The Bulletin, 9 July 1914

Author reference sites: AustlitAustralian Dictionary of Biography

See also.

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This page contains a single entry by Perry Middlemiss published on July 9, 2014 7:45 AM.

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