Ring-Barked Timber by Kathleen Dalziel

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By giant boles, stemless and sapless,
   Slow growth of the green centuries, 
I look down the hill on the hapless
   Defeat of the trees.

The jagged ranks sore and uneven.
   The stark arms uplifted as though 
Invoking an impotent heaven
   To witness their woe.

For the loaf-mantled ridge and the rill-side
   Do you think this bare pasture atones? 
That seeming snowfall on the hill-side
   Is but the white bones

Of the kings of the primitive forest,
   Whose realm has long passed away.
Now heaped where the slaughter fell sorest,
   And bleached in decay.

And the wind sees no sadder sight under
   The leagues of the wandering sky,
Since it fled through the forest in thunder,
   Or sank to a sigh.

Where the hill-side has long been a stranger
   To the rush of its leaf symphonies,
And drought stalks, a dreadful avenger
   In the wake of the trees.

First published in The Sydney Morning Herald, 3 December 1938

Author reference site: Austlit

See also.

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This page contains a single entry by Perry Middlemiss published on December 3, 2014 8:22 AM.

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