When I look from my window all I see
Is a pale wilderness of bush and sky --
Green against blue -- blue through each distant tree --
Green -- blue -- monotonously low and high.
Yet if I leave my desk and saunter out,
What shall I find at every step I take
But color, color, color strewn about
In jewelled lights and fairy fires awake?
I know the oak-tree near the creek is brown --
A tawny maid with drooping, downcast eyes,
And sunburnt limbs. Beneath the shadows drown
Like dreams in a lost desert grown deathwise.
Under the ti-trees brilliant beetles lie --
Symbols of Egypt -- emerald and gold.
On such great Cleopatra looked to sigh --
A shining scarab token ten worlds old.
Color? Oh, it would cry to me in pain
From daisy-plates of pink snow in the grass,
From redheads, flocking thick in Autumn's train,
That scatter like red pearls to see me pass!
Yet from my window all my eyes behold
Is a pale wilderness the long day through --
Green against blue in trees and skies world-old --
Green-blue monotony of hours too new!
First published in The Bulletin, 8 January 1925