Street Singer by Kathleen Dalziel

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The thrush that sings so finely
   These August evenings, 
Repeating such divinely
   Inconsequential things, 
Has left an airy dwelling
   In early spring, to say
He has a tale worth telling
   This world of work-a-day. 

Told so serenely, purely,
   So lacking pain's alloy,
You'd think his office surely
   Ambassador of joy.
You'd think his song in order
   To make us understand 
We tread the very border
   Of an enchanted land.

And how, with earth's renewal,
   That country far to find,
Where sun nor wind is cruel,
   And all the gods are kind.
From one bleak stunted elm, he--
   Hemmed in with brick and stone-- 
Is singing of a realm we
   Have never, never known. 

Careless of hoot and whistle,
   The traffic's come and go, 
The factory's harsh dismissal,
   The milling crowds below: 
The roar the peak-hour raises
   To yet a louder key
Still, still that small voice praises
   Spring-time in Arcady. 

Alas for his elation,
   Alas the darling theme,
By subway, bridge, and station
   The heedless humans stream
As carelessly as ever,    
   And nobody believes
The tale the thrush tells over
   These chilly August eves.

First published in The Sydney Morning Herald, 20 August 1938

Author reference site: Austlit

See also.

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This page contains a single entry by Perry Middlemiss published on August 20, 2014 8:39 AM.

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