Recently in Dreaming and Sleep Category

Exile by Myra Morris

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The rolling pasture-land slid green
      On every side.
The Cape-weed with its golden sheen
      Flaunts far and wide.
A depthless blue the floating sky! --
      Day after day
The bird sing joyously; but I
      Am far away,
Am far away from all the things
      I love most dear --
Wet, sweeping sands and flashing wings,
      Ships far and near;
Pale little Summer seas that break
      In golden bays;
Salt-bitten secret flowers that break
      Down windless ways!
I am far off! The old things call!
      I dare not hear!
The sound of seas that break and fall
      Rings in my ear
Like ghostly voices. Yet at night
      In dreams I tread
Those beaches lying warm and bright,
      Nor know them fled!
Pale tides and filmy flowers of foam,
      White waters heap
Around me then .... I am come home
      Only in sleep!

First published in The Australian Woman's Mirror, 6 December 1927

Author reference sites: AustlitAustralian Dictionary of Biography

See also.

Fantasy by Myra Morris

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By marble balustrades
   The purple peacocks gleam,
And palaces with white facades
   Beside the river dream.

The sea is pale as milk,
   For mast a peeled white rose,
A little ship with sails of silk
   Moves out; where, no man knows.

Slim turrets of delight,
   Of jade and ivory,
With tiny, twisting stairs of white,
   Beckon bewitchingly.

Down flowery woodland ways,
   Nude nymphs and sun-splashed fauns
Dance lightly where the syrinx plays
   Along unshaven lawns.

Pale mosques and minarets
   Of some lost Samarkand
Dream where the camel-driver sets
   His face unto the sand.

Across the sunset sky
   My soul has sped afar
To radiant realms, remote and high,
   And found the first frail star.

A myriad sights I see
   In this strange sunset-world,
Here, with my fancy floating free,
   Each eager sail unfurled.

I shall come back to earth,
   With all its fume and fret.
With all its foolish counts of worth --
   But not, ah no! not yet!

A little longer here
   To dream the hours away,
Where night -- dark flower without compeer --
   Buds on the stalk of day!

First published in The Bulletin, 30 June 1927

Author reference sites: AustlitAustralian Dictionary of Biography

See also.

The Ancestress by Mabel Forrest

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I do not know why I dreamed last night 
   Of a woman long since dead, 
Of the sunken eyes in their clear youth light 
   And the pale lips warmly red.

I remember once as a tiny child 
   I played in a panelled room, 
And a lady's face on the dark wall smiled 
   From out of the dusk and gloom. 

The painter had given a painted smile 
   To the lips for a grief disguise; 
But the eyes refuted the artist's guile 
   With the sorrow of living eyes. 

For many a year had her portrait hung 
   On the line of the wainscot wall, 
While the saddest songs of the earth were sung 
   Hers were silent in it all.   

I wonder why I should dream last night 
   Of a woman long years dead. 
Her eyes were clear in the dreamland light, 
   Her lips with their warmth were red. 

I looked long in the crystal glass to-day 
   With eyes too tired for tears, 
And the dead one's lips smiled back at me 
   From out of the buried years.

First published in The Queenslander, 11 June 1898

Author reference sites: AustlitAustralian Dictionary of Biography

See also.

From a Little Window by Myra Morris

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My little window, four by three,
Opens on to worlds of witchery.

I watch the clouds go riding by --
White sails athwart the windy sky;

And limned against the sunset fires,
Plump sparrows huddled on the wires.

Away where curves the sky's blue cup,
Thin-etched masts go dreaming up,

And drawn within the disk's dark nets
Frail cupolas, and minarets --

Sweet, fairy-fashioned shapes that soar,
Far from the window three by four!

And outward-winging whirl my dreams
Unto these walls, until it seems

Only the empty husk of me
Waits at the window four by three!

First published in The Bulletin, 3 May 1923

Author reference sites: AustlitAustralian Dictionary of Biography

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Sonnet by Zora Cross

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Anxious for my awakening, when I died
   I watch great blossoms such as no men dream
   Open and close upon that still dark stream.
A certain brilliance seemed to slide and glide
Uncertainly about from side to side,
   As if a flower searched for a lost sunbeam,
   As if a sunbeam sought its own lost gleam --
And suddenly "The sun and life!" I cried.

When I think back upon it now I sigh.
Those streets, all the harsh edges gone; the bees
   Quiet; soft voices; peace where'er I trod;
And only light from sky to spreading sky.
This dream I dreamed surely is shared with me
   Still in the long still galleries of God.

First published in The Bulletin, 16 April 1925

After Many Days by Kathleen Dalziel

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Shadows lengthen through lazy hours,
   The long, long hours of afternoon;
Heavy the odors of red-gum flowers
   In dells of bracken when bronzewings croon;
Green and grey are the saplings slender,
   Tall and straight by the empty stream --
Fit for day dreams the Bushland's splendor,
   But I have forgotten the way to dream.

To-day the cuckoos were calling, calling,
   Out at the light wood's leafy deep;
I heard the river's slow music falling
   Through a world of summer-time, half asleep.
But, ah! in the gold Australian weather
   Care at my side dims every gleam,
So long we have walked the road together
   That I have forgotten the way to dream.

A dreamer always, in days long over,
   I fashioned my life in a world of shades,
When the fields were white with a wealth of clover
   Or the robes of winter made grey the glades
But gone, long gone, are those days of treasure,
   Long, long lost an the slow year's stream;
Spilt the cup of its ruddy measure,
   I have forgotten the way to dream.

First published in The Bulletin, 4 April 1912

Author reference site: Austlit

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Vision by Zora Cross

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I had a distant dream of future things-
Pink grass on which with azure-tinted hair
Rose-eyed, black-checked white-lipped, clad but in air
By strange diet evolved, people with wings
To don and use at will lolled while vast rings
Of murmurous machines kept all earth fair.
Without the contemplation of a care
The visionary's wide imaginings.

Yet had the drift of nature moved no dram,
Nor the least cog of Time's large wheel outslid
The unalterable law Change still debars.
The moon I noticed, still serenely swam,
Tugging the tides, indifferent, amid   
The golden panorama of the stars.  

First published in The Sydney Morning Herald, 1 April 1944

Dreams by Kathleen Dalziel

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They come again to haunt me when the sun is sinking low --
The idle dreams, the careless dreams, the dreams of long ago.

Thro' the wattle's feathered, fretted boughs the reddened sunlight gleams.
In the stillness and the quiet 'tis a fitting hour for dreams.

Far away from care and sorrow -- far away from toil and strife --
Wasted chances, hours of folly, and the failure of a life.

All the blackness lies behind me and the brightness lies before,
I have done with Sin and Care (for just an hour, perhaps, or more).

Dreams of day-time -- dreams of May-time -- dreams of light and laughing hours,
With the odor of the gum-leaves and the fragrance of the flowers.

As they come again to haunt me when the sun is dropping low,
The idle dreams, the careless dreams, the dreams of long ago.

First published in The Bulletin, 28 March 1903

Author reference site: Austlit

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Blossoming Cacti by Mabel Forrest

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Dreaming of far-off deserts, in the murk
   Of hot and moonless nights in Brisbane town.
Each sap-filled leaf arrayed in spear and dirk,
   They look like stars themselves come drifting down
As slowly in the midnight garden pent
They wake to blossom through their discontent.

By day they close their eyes and lie asleep;
   The dust from street and road comes drifting in;
Who knows but in their hearts the cacti weep
   Green heavy tears for their long-sundered kin --
Flags of the Open Plain who own a world.
While theirs in narrow garden plots are furled?

On these hot nights I think they hear the wind
   Sigh through old memories, and the jackal slink
By the sand dunes some laggard prey to find;
   The scampering scorpion, in his coat of ink,
Threads in and out the glistening cacti-grove
To some mysterious rendezvous of love --

Seed of those other cacti. desert-bred,
   Offspring of some spiked hedge that spans the wild,
Remembering through those channels, parent-fed,   
   How the red dawn on desert acres smiled,
And how, across the long and burning sands,
Pale Evening came with comfort in her hands!

First published in The Bulletin, 27 February 1919

Author reference sites: AustlitAustralian Dictionary of Biography

See also.

Last Night by Mabel Forrest

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Which way did you come? Not by the stair,
But through some ladder of light and air.
Perhaps you swung to the moonflower's disc
By a clinging tendril, and took the risk
Of a moonray's dirk on the balcony
To leave the darkness and climb to me?

Which way did you come? As a trembling ghost,
Your footfall lost in the high wind's boast
As he clapped the boughs of the weeping figs
To an eerie chorus of clashing twigs,
As he bent the grass in the gardens low
To smooth the way for a ghost to go?

How did you signal? In my soul?
Or break through my heart's demure control?
Did you prise the locks of the world apart
To carve a road to a guarded heart?
Did the drawbridge rise when the time was ripe
To the quick command of a fairy pipe?
Did you come, a prince in your jewelled state--
Did you come as a palmer, desolate?

Which way did you come? Who can ever guess?
But your hand on my hand still seems to press
And I turn my pillow, to find again
The little hollow where love has lain.

Through slatted windows a cool sun streams
And the dreams of the night are....only dreams.
Like butterfly blown o'er a desert place
Its wings still wet from a flower's face,
O star that sought for its heaven here,
A hope too wild, for a gift too dear.

Yet, though doors were closed to a mortal's key,
I know last night that you came to me.

First published in The Bulletin, 3 February 1916

Author reference sites: AustlitAustralian Dictionary of Biography

See also.

Muse-Haunted by Hugh McCrae

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He heard (and dreamed AEolus, on
   The moon's gold horn, was blowing)
The music of far Helicon
   A-down Parnassus flowing.

And, with that strange sad ecstasy
   Of men, who, slowly sailing,
Behold a mermaid in the sea,
   Below their lantern-railing.

Spark like a star within the wave --
   So he, with yearning, listened,
while high above his shad'wy cave
   The eye of Venus glistened.

The hawk, entowered in the sky
   The lonely lord of Heaven,
At day-break saw him solit'ry;
   And yet again at even.

First published in The Bulletin, 23 September 1909;
and later in
From the Ballads to Brennan edited by T. Inglis Moore, 1964.

Author reference sites: Austlit, Australian Dictionary of Biography

See also.

To-morrow by Zora Cross

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Why are we here? For what do we strive
   In this world of sin and sorrow?
We work to-day; oh, ever to-day;
   With never a sign of the morrow!
Like comrades all, we seek some end,
   Aim at some golden star,
But To-morrow, like a blackening cloud,
   Trembles still afar.
Did we but know -- oh, could we guess --
   The secrets she doth hold --
All that big sea above our heads,
   The mysteries of old.
Life and Death, and even men
Were merely nothing then.

Ah! What is Death, or what is Life?
In all this din of strife
Do we strive for nought,
Do we die for nought,
And is it all a dream?
This joy we feel, this hourly bliss,
These lips we love to kiss --
Why do they go?
Where do they go?
Oh, is it all a dream?

Ah, voice in the sea! Oh, soul in the wind!
Is it all one noble mind?
This spirit in man,
This God in man.
Oh, say is it all a dream?

First published in The Australian Town and Country Journal, 15 September 1909

Author reference sites: AustlitAustralian Dictionary of BiographyOld Qld Poetry

See also.

A Dream by Louisa Lawson

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Just as the grey dawning could faintly be seen,
   One still summer's morning I dreamt a fair dream,
I thought that my body was tenantless clay,
   And friends were preparing to lay it away,
They stood at my bedside, one weeping aloud,
   While two with deft finger's placed on me a shroud,
And she who had loved me and knew all my care,
   Placed flowers about me and braided my hair.

And murmured, "poor creature, her troubles are o'er,
   And they who have vexed her can vex her no more,"
Then tenderly crossing my hands on my breast,
   She kissed me and blessed me, and left me to rest,
The kindest words only about me were said
   And restfully thought I, 'tis well to be dead.
I sighed with contentment, so safe did I seem,
   But alas for the sigh, for it banished my dream.

First published in The Dawn, 1 September 1891;
and later in
The Lonely Crossing and Other Poems by Louisa Lawson, 1905;
The Poet's Discovery: Nineteenth Century Australia in Verse edited by Richard Douglas Jordan and Peter Pierce, 1990;
The First Voice of Australian Feminism: Excerpts from Louisa Lawson's The Dawn 1888-1895 edited by Olive Lawson, 1990; and
Louisa Lawson: Collected Poems with Selected Critical Commentaries edited by L.M. Rutherford, M.E. Roughley and Nigel Spence, 1996.

Author reference sites: Austlit, Australian Dictionary of Biography, Australian Poetry Library

See also.

A Lay of the North by George Essex Evans

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Where the blue M'Kinlay Mountains stretch their wide majestic girth,   
Locking in their bosoms treasures time and progress shall unearth!
Far within their rocky fastness in a ravine wild and steep,
Breathing softly as an infant, lay a miner fast asleep.
He had travelled many a district searching for the precious ore.
Many a hardship, many a failure, had he braved and borne before;   
Now the fickle Goddess Fortune frowned no more upon her slave.
But, with fair and smiling features, what he long had sought forgave.
There within his grasp lay riches, wealth beyond his utmost hope;
There she placed no stern obstructions for his energy to cope;
In a few days he could gather what would bring him wealth and ease.
Then good-bye to Northern Queensland--hey for home across the seas!
So he slept: and in his dreaming he was home again once more.
Home again in Merry England, standing at his father's door.   
Now they cluster all around him--old friends grasp him by the hand,
Then the teardrops from his eyelids trickled fast upon the sand

. . . . . . .

Where the blue Mackinlay Mountains stand like sentinels alway,   
In a gorge within their fastness, still the murdered miner lay;   
In the search for wealth and treasure, after toilings, after strife.  
He had lost a gem far purer -- lost the precious stone of life.
Still he lay -- his fixed eyes staring upwards at the starry skies;
Blood for blood --- his blood appealing for the vengeance Heaven denies;
All around him stretch the mountains, and o'er head the azure height,
And for shroud kind Nature wrapped him in the mantle of the night.
At that home in Merry England, at the porch beside the door,
They are waiting, they are watching, but they ne'er will see him more;
Hope is buoyant, hope is stronger than the marshalled host of fears,
But hope deferred is agony and bitterness and tears.

First published in The Queenslander, 25 July 1885

Author reference sites: Austlit, Australian Dictionary of Biography, Australian Poetry Library

See also

Dreams, Empty Dreams by F. Bennett

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I ponder the problem of Being
   As onward the good steamer goes,
Each billow seems big with a secret
   'Tis bursting its breast to disclose.

It heaves up a green, swollen bosom --
   When it bursts what shall then be revealed?
The answer to Life's dark Enigma?
   The key to a mystery sealed?

The form of a loved one long buried
   And jealously kept from our eyes
Where, dotted with coral for headstones,
   A submarine "God's acre" lies?

I lean out with startled eyes staring,
   I crane from the netting above,
For there, gazing fixedly upward,
   I see the gray eyes of my Love!   

Say, is it the thoughts of the absent
   That shine in my wondering eyes,
And mirror themselves in the ocean,
   In billows that swellingly rise?

The propeller has churned it to chaos,
   The picture is lost from my sight
To form in the next swelling greenness
   And die in the screw-tortured white.

It fails, and, despairing, drops downward,
   Its foam hides both secret and key,
I, thoughtful, return to my cabin ---
   The billow drives on o'er the sea.

I'll weary no more o'er the problem,
   The creeds and the theories crude;
Expectations they raise like the billow,
   And tantalise but to delude.

Like Man, o'er an Infinite Ocean,
   The billows have tirelessly pressed.
May he, like the waves, find a coastline,
   A margin, a haven, a Rest!  

First published
in The Queenslander, 9 July 1898

Author: Frederick Bennett was a teacher in Queensland in the 1890s and was appointed headmaster of Toowong State School in 1909 where he remained until he retired in 1934.

Author reference site: Austlit

See also.

The Dream by Clarinda Parkes

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   I slept, I dreamt,
   Wouldst know my thought? --
   O, that such dreams
   I had but sought!  

Methought I stood by a river bright,
   Which wandered far away,
And the sun beamed on with a golden light
   Where a lovely island lay.

But suddenly behind a cloud
   That sun's bright orb was lost;
And that fair island in a shroud
   Of darkness dense was cast.

And then a small white speck appeared,
   Relieved against that island dark,
Nearer and nearer still it came,
   And seemed to be a little bark.

It drifted on, and touched the strand --
   A small straight plank with awning o'er,
And in it lay a coffin old,
   From which a fair girl sprang on shore.

Angelic beauty marked each line
   Of that young lovely face;  
And small bright wings of a pearl-like hue
   Showed her of heavenly race.

She took my hand, and sweetly smiled,
   And looked into my face,
And said, "Thy rose has faded, come,
   And share with me my Master's grace."

She led me then from place to place --
   Explained my Maker's love;
She showed me every wond'rous thing,
   The work of Him above.

   I then awoke,
   My dream took flight,
   And on me shone
   The moon's fair light.

First published
in The Empire, 19 June 1855

Author reference site: Austlit

See also.

The Dreams by Mabel Forrest

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You thought it was the lapping of the tide
Where out by Garden Reach the long ships ride?

But I knew.
When the dawning drew the curtains of the East,
And the chattering birds were rousing to their feast,
And the waters by the dew-grey banks hung slack,
What you heard was just the Night Dreams slipping back.

From the big red house with blind eyes to the Quay,
From the damp green garden, where the canna burns.
Where the morn wind wrinkles on the spreading ferns,
And woos the boughs with wizard minstlelsy,
They are gliding to the hidden water ways;
Little White Dream, with a taper in her hand,
Pale, blurred vision you must wake to understand.
Tiny, tuneful one that round the heart-strings plays --
They are marshalling at every bedroom door;
They are stealing from the shadows of the hall,
They are answering the river's warning call,
They are pattering on the silent chamber floor,
"Come away!" the river cries, "for dawn is here;
And the working world would gibe at you by day;
Set your fragile feet upon the tidalway;
Bathe your bodies where the wave curl washes clear."

Past the fig trees clustered on the river's edge,
Past the homeless ones who shiver at the dawn,
Past the carex grouping on the graded lawn,
Past the honeysuckle, trailing from the hedge;
Past the sachet-scented frangipanni blooms,
Out across the furrowed road and dusty street;
Past the weeping figs whose bent bows softly meet,
And down among the wild weeds' musky glooms ---
Go the dreams that filled the pillows of the night;
Here a grey-eyed girl with citron-shaded hair,
Or a laughing love with one white shoulder bare;
Or a threat of hate with cruel lips shut tight;
From that shuttered house of loneliness and tears,
Where a woman lay at eve with empty arms,
Comes a little swaddled shape of dimpled charms,
A tender, coolng call the last star hears.
From the cottage where lean hunger stalks by day
Comes a dream of rich men's tables and of wine;
And round a barren door, a laden vine,
That Morn's first gilded gauntlet tears away;
From my window where the dull geranium grows
I heard my dream drop lightly to the blue;
It was silver Hope, with just one thought of you
To set upon its brow that velvet rose.

You thought it was the gurgling of the sea
By the black rat-riddled wharfing breaking free?
You thought it was the pressing of the tide
That strains the painter where the wherries ride?

But I knew!
For where day-caught dreams their rainbow colours keep.
Above, where yellowing awns have lost their dew,
With here a fleck of crimson, glimpse of blue,
I have seen the clinging robes of semite sweep;
And from that portal, dark beneath the moon,
By arch severe or doorstep white as milk,
'Twas strange to hear the rustling of silk,
And catch a sudden flash of scarlet sheen,
As stolidly he sleeps beside his spouse,
His mind presumably on stocks and shares;
Did Folly come and court him unawares,
Burgling her dream-way to his formal house?

And that grave prelate, from the pulpit's climb
Just a stone's throw along the tree-roofed track,
I heard the bells --- the capped fool making back,
And caught the jesting of the cheery mime;
While in the widowed chamber over there,
As, worn with weeping, closed his swollen eyes,
She lingered, cheating him with darling lies,
And binding his sick heart with her dead hair.

The schoolboy dreamed of armour on a field,
A doughty knight, a war horse sable skinned,
How with one stroke the foeman's ranks were thinned:
What clank. what rocking plumes his our walls yield!
The school girl, lily folded in her place,
Secure as dove within the sacred grove,
Majestic, saw some jet-locked lover move,
And read her future in a phantom face.

To all the flower-ringed walks were full of them;
And all the dusty way stirred to their feet:
One stooped to taste the breaths or jasmine's sweet,
Or brushed an aster with her garment's hem.
Down to the river, myriad-masked, they sweep,
Snow-breasted angel, form of lurking fear,
Frail fancy spectress, faces lost and dear,
From their long vigil in the world of sleep;
At noon they slumber in the heavy heat,
Beneath the black fumes of the factory's mouth,
Beneath the brown keels drifting to the south,
Or wide-winged shadows of the sailing fleet.

All day when red-forged sunrays scorch the banks,
And violet lights are sifted from the glare,
To where the rising shark makes globes or air,
Parting the levels of the water ranks --
There they lie waiting till the sunset's hand
Paints all the West and folds into the dark.
You heard a whispering by the green marge -- hark!
That was the dreams --- gone back from Pillow Land!

First published in The Sydney Mail, 17 January 1912

Author reference sites: Austlit, Australian Dictionary of Biography

See also

Day's Dream by Zora Cross

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Even so, I think, the day dreams, too,
As men, as nations, hour by living hour,
And in the happy turning of a flower,
A leaf, a bird-song, all her dreams come true.
For, as at dawn, she dabbles in her dew,
And in the blue noon, out from some green bower
Shakes her fair hair low down in a glad shower,
   Her eyes with visions flock and grow more blue.

She sees a rarer light than the brave sun;  
She glimpses magic blossoms large and white.
Dusk, like a black cloud, draws her prison bars.
She dies and fancies all is lost and done;
Then leaps her dream! The great moon takes the night,
Calm 'mid her cold incomparable stars.

First published in The Sydney Morning Herald, 10 January 1925

Author reference sites: AustlitAustralian Dictionary of BiographyOld Qld Poetry

See also.

Dreams by Victor J. Daley

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I have been dreaming all a summer day
Of rare and dainty poems I would write;
Love-lyrics delicate as lilac-scent,
Soft idylls wov'n of wind, and flow'r, and stream,
And songs and sonnets carven in fine gold.

The day is fading, and the dusk is cold;
Out of the skies has gone the opal gleam,
Out of my heart has passed the high intent
Into the shadow of the failing night --
Must all my dreams in darkness pass away?

I have been dreaming all a summer day
Shall I go dreaming so until Life's light
Fades in Death's dusk, and all my days are spent?
Ah, what am I the dreamer but a dream!
The day is fading, and the dusk is cold.

My songs and sonnets carven in fine gold
Have faded from me with the last day-beam
That purple lustre to the sea-line lent,
And flushed the clouds with rose and chrysolite;
So days and dreams in darkness pass away.

I have been dreaming all a summer day
Of songs and sonnets carven in fine gold;
But all my dreams in darkness pass away;
The day is fading, and the dusk is cold.

First published
in The Bulletin, 8 December 1883, and again in the same magazine on 9 July 1898, 1 February 1950 and 29 January 1980;
and later in
A Golden Shanty: Australian Stories and Sketches in Prose and Verse, 1890;
At Dawn and Dusk by Victor Daley, 1902;
The Golden Treasury of Australian Verse edited by Bertram Stevens, 1909;
An Australasian Anthology: Australian and New Zealand Poems edited by Percival Serle, R. H. Croll and Frank Wilmot, 1927;
From the Ballads to Brennan edited by T. Inglis Moore, 1964;
Silence in Song: An Anthology of Australian Verse edited by Clifford O'Brien, 1968;
The Penguin Book of Australian Verse edited by Harry Heseltine, 1972;
A Treasury of Colonial Poetry, 1982;
Early Verse of the Canberra Region: A Collection of Poetry, Verse and Doggerel from Newspaper, Other Publications and Private Sources edited by Lyall Gillespie, 1994;
Sunlines: An Anthology of Poetry to Celebrate Australia's Harmony in Diversity edited by Anne Fairbairn, 2002; and
The Penguin Anthology of Australian Poetry edited by John Kinsella, 2009.

Author reference sites: Austlit, Australian Dictionary of Biography, Australian Poetry Library

See also.

In a Far Country by Victor J. Daley

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Beyond the mountains blue,
   Banished from the sea
I dream old dreams anew,
And think, old friends, of you,
   In a Far Countree.

The wind that bends the trees
   Bears no breath of brine;
It has the sough of seas,
But 'tis not the brave salt breeze
   That I loved lang syne.

At times in the dark woods,
   When the stars are dim,
Its sound is like the rude
March of a multitude
   To a battle hymn.

Old friends, old comrades true,
   Whom I long to see,
In milk for mountain dew
I drink Was Hael to you,
   In a Far Countree.

First published in The Bulletin, 28 September 1905

Author reference sites: Austlit, Australian Dictionary of Biography, Australian Poetry Library

See also.

My Dream by Walter D. White

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Let me go out into the pathway of the sun;
Be upborne by the sweet incense of far hills
And the haunting melodies of wind in the trees;   
Dare the charging squadrons of the storm --
Pass, unchallenged, through moonlit towns at night --
Gaze, spellbound, at all the pomps of Dawn;
Press forward to the sunlit heights of Heaven.
On the wings of the wind I shall ride
Adown the corridors of space;  
Cross uncharted oceans to undiscovered lands
Where new suns rise in awful majesty;
Past whirling spheres to where lightnings flash
Like fiery streams and meteors crash 'gainst worlds
And rock the Universe
While unimagined thunders shake the firmament!
On, on, ever on! Questing the Happy Land!
So, through the endless vistas of the skies,
I shall glimpse the City of my Dreams --
The realm eternal, the blessed land,
Where dwell the Sons of God--
These live for evermore.

First published in The Sydney Morning Herald, 24 September 1932

Author: Walter David White (1857-1941) was born in Bristol, England, and arrived in Australia in 1884.  He worked on a number of newspapers in New South Wales, as well as in the State's public service.  He died in Roseville, New South Wales in 1941.

Author reference site: Austlit

See also.

My Queen of Dreams by Philip J. Holdsworth

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In the warm flushed heart of the rose-red West,
   When the great sun quivered and died to-day,
You pulsed, O star, by yon pine-clad crest --
   And throbbed till the bright eve ashened grey --
         Then I saw you swim
         By the shadowy rim
Where the grey gum dips to the western plain,
         And you rayed delight
         As you winged your flight
To the mystic spheres where your kinsmen reign!

O star, did you see her? My queen of dreams!
   Was it you that glimmered the night we strayed
A month ago by these scented streams?
   Half-checked by the litter the musk-buds made?
         Did you sleep or wake? --
         Ah, for Love's sweet sake
(Though the world should fail and the soft stars wane!)
         I shall dream delight
         Till our souls take flight
To the mystic spheres where your kinsmen reign!

First published in The Bulletin, 11 July 1885, and again in the same magazine on 13 June 1896 and 1 February 1902;
and later in
Australian Ballads and Rhymes: Poems Inspired by Life and Scenery in Australia and New Zealand edited by Douglas Sladen, 1888;
A Century of Australian Song edited by Douglas Sladen, 1888;
An Anthology of Australian Verse edited by Bertram Stevens, 1907; and
The Golden Treasury of Australian Verse edited by Bertram Stevens, 1909.

Author: Philip Joseph Holdsworth (1851-1902) was born and educated in Sydney.  He joined the State Treasury office in 1871, and continued in public service until 1893 when the Forestry Department, of which he was secretary, was abolished.  He was associated with Sydney literary circles for most of his adult life and was editor of the Illustrated Sydney News in the 1880s.  He died suddenly in Sydney in 1902.

Author reference sites: Austlit, Australian Dictionary of Biography

The Voice in the Native Oak by Henry Kendall

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Twelve years ago, when I could face
   High heaven's dome with different eyes --
In days full-flowered with hours of grace,
   And nights not sad with sighs --
I wrote a song in which I strove
   To shadow forth thy strain of woe,
Dark widowed sister of the grove! --
   Twelve wasted years ago.

But youth was then too young to find
   Those high authentic syllables,
Whose voice is like the wintering wind
   By sunless mountain fells;
Nor had I sinned and suffered then
   To that superlative degree
That I would rather seek, than men,
   Wild fellowship with thee!

But he who hears this autumn day
   Thy more than deep autumnal rhyme,
Is one whose hair was shot with grey
   By Grief instead of Time.
He has no need, like many a bard,
   To sing imaginary pain,
Because he bears, and finds it hard,
   The punishment of Cain.

No more he sees the affluence
   Which makes the heart of Nature glad;
For he has lost the fine, first sense
   Of Beauty that he had.
The old delight God's happy breeze
   Was wont to give, to Grief has grown;
And therefore, Niobe of trees,
   His song is like thine own!

But I, who am that perished soul,
   Have wasted so these powers of mine,
That I can never write that whole,
   Pure, perfect speech of thine.
Some lord of words august, supreme,
   The grave, grand melody demands;
The dark translation of thy theme
   I leave to other hands.

Yet here, where plovers nightly call
   Across dim, melancholy leas --
Where comes by whistling fen and fall
   The moan of far-off seas --
A grey, old Fancy often sits
   Beneath thy shade with tired wings,
And fills thy strong, strange rhyme by fits
   With awful utterings.

Then times there are when all the words
   Are like the sentences of one
Shut in by Fate from wind and birds
   And light of stars and sun,
No dazzling dryad, but a dark
   Dream-haunted spirit doomed to be
Imprisoned, crampt in bands of bark,
   For all eternity.

Yea, like the speech of one aghast
   At Immortality in chains,
What time the lordly storm rides past
   With flames and arrowy rains:
Some wan Tithonus of the wood,
   White with immeasurable years --
An awful ghost in solitude
   With moaning moors and meres.

And when high thunder smites the hill
   And hunts the wild dog to his den,
Thy cries, like maledictions, shrill
   And shriek from glen to glen,
As if a frightful memory whipped
   Thy soul for some infernal crime
That left it blasted, blind, and stript --
   A dread to Death and Time!

But when the fair-haired August dies,
   And flowers wax strong and beautiful,
Thy songs are stately harmonies
   By wood-lights green and cool --
Most like the voice of one who shows
   Through sufferings fierce, in fine relief,
A noble patience and repose --
   A dignity in grief.

But, ah! conceptions fade away,
   And still the life that lives in thee --
The soul of thy majestic lay --
   Remains a mystery!
And he must speak the speech divine --
   The language of the high-throned lords --
Who'd give that grand old theme of thine
   Its sense in faultless words.

By hollow lands and sea-tracts harsh,
   With ruin of the fourfold gale,
Where sighs the sedge and sobs the marsh,
   Still wail thy lonely wail;
And, year by year, one step will break
   The sleep of far hill-folded streams,
And seek, if only for thy sake
   Thy home of many dreams.

First published in The Australian Town & Country Journal, 4 July 1874, and again in the same newspaper on 12 August 1882;
and then later in
Songs from the Mountains by Henry Kendall, 1880;
Selected Poems of Henry Kendall edited by T. Inglis Moore, 1957;
The Poetical Works of Henry Kendall edited by Thomas Thornton Reed, 1966;
Henry Kendall: Poetry, Prose and Selected Correspondence edited by Michael Ackland, 1993.

Note: this poem is related to an earlier work titled "The Voice of the Native Oak" by Charles Harpur, 1851, which you can read here.
The poem by Kendall is also known by the title "The Voice of the Wild Oak".

Author reference sites: Austlit, Australian Dictionary of Biography, Australian Poetry Library

See also.

A Song for the Night by Daniel Henry Deniehy

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O the Night, the Night, the solemn Night,
   When Earth is bound with her silent zone,
And the spangled sky seems a temple wide,
   Where the star-tribes kneel at the Godhead's throne;
O the Night, the Night, the wizard Night,
   When the garish reign of day is o'er,
And the myriad barques of the dream-elves come
   In a brightsome fleet from Slumber's shore!
      O the Night for me,
      When blithe and free,
Go the zephyr-hounds on their airy chase;
      When the moon is high
      In the dewy sky,
And the air is sweet as a bride's embrace!

O the Night, the Night, the charming Night!
   From the fountain side in the myrtle shade,
All softly creep on the slumbrous air
   The waking notes of the serenade;
While bright eyes shine 'mid the lattice-vines,
   And white arms droop o'er the sculptured sills,
And accents fall to the knights below,
   Like the babblings soft of mountain rills.
      Love in their eyes,
      Love in their sighs,
Love in the heave of each lily-bright bosom;
      In words so clear,
      Lest the listening ear
And the waiting heart may lose them.

O the silent Night, when the student dreams
   Of kneeling crowds round a sage's tomb;
And the mother's eyes o'er the cradle rain
   Tears for her baby's fading bloom;
O the peaceful Night, when stilled and o'er
   Is the charger's tramp on the battle plain,
And the bugle's sound and the sabre's flash,
   While the moon looks sad over heaps of slain;
      And tears bespeak
      On the iron cheek
Of the sentinel lonely pacing,
      Thoughts which roll
      Through his fearless soul,
Day's sterner mood replacing.

O the sacred Night, when memory comes
   With an aspect mild and sweet to me,
But her tones are sad as a ballad air
   In childhood heard on a nurse's knee;
And round her throng fair forms long fled,
   With brows of snow and hair of gold,
And eyes with the light of summer skies,
   And lips that speak of the days of old.
      Wide is your flight,
      O spirits of Night,
By strath, and stream, and grove,
      But most in the gloom
      Of the Poet's room
Ye choose, fair ones, to rove.

First published in The Bulletin, 18 May 1895;
and later in
An Anthology of Australian Verse edited by Bertram Stevens, 1907; and
A Treasury of Colonial Poetry, 1982.

Author: Daniel Henry Deniehy (1828-1865) was born in Sydney, the son of parents who had both been transported convicts.  He studied law and was admitted as a solicitor in 1851.  He published his first literary work, a novelette, in 1845 and his love of literature and poetry continued to grow.  As did his interest in politics, which resulted in being elected to the NSW Parliament in 1857.  His parliamentary career was only short, ending in 1860, and Deniehy and his family moved to Melbourne in 1862 where he edited the Victorian.  After the failure of the paper in April 1864 he returned to Sydney but soon moved to Bathurst in an attempt to resurrect his legal practice. Deniehy died in Bathurst in 1865 after a fall in the street resulted in a major head injury. 

Author reference sites: Austlit, Australian Dictionary of Biography

Leave Me My Dreams by Gloria McQuade

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Leave me my dreams, lest when they fade I find
That life a wilderness before me lies,
An arid sun-seared land 'neath leaden skies,
Where all is anguish-wrung and desolate,
And from whose rock-strewn wastes the wind's wail tells
This is Despair's abode, here Hope ne'er dwells,
Which I must traverse, soul disconsolate,
Knowing my guardian Faith left far behind.
Leave me my dreams, that in my heart may ring
The exquisite strains of that celestial song,
Love's anthem, sung by all the angel throng,
Then though pale Grief walk with me many a mile
With doleful countenance and tear-stained cheek,
I know him not, but toward the rose-tipped peak
Of Heart's Desire go ever on, the while
My dreams remain fearing naught Time may bring.

First published in The Sydney Morning Herald, 25 March 1933

Author: nothing is known about the author of this poem.

To Sleep by E. B. Loughran

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O youth, dark, like thy brother Death,
   Yet to men welcome as the day,
Breathe o'er me with thy fragrant breath,
   And chase my saddening thoughts away.

Oh, take me in thy arms divine,
   And lead me where thou wouldst, O sleep;
For I am wholly, truly thine ---
   My gratitude to thee is deep.

For soon the east will bring the day,
   And when his heaven-lit lamp shall burn,
The cares thy magic sweeps away
   Will with his glow again return:

To me thy dark form is more fair
   Than ever fairest day can be;
For thy hand scatters far my care --
   And that is all-in-all to me.

I feel thy touch upon my brow.
   Soft as the hand of her I love;
I feel thy breath fall o'er me now,
   Like incense burnt by souls above.

I feel thy soothing, mystic power
   Through all my soften'd being thrill;
My cares are with a faded hour,
   I bend me freely to thy will.

Then welcome, welcome, balmy sleep,
   That call'st with silver voice to me;
Let men who will, wake, laugh, or weep ---
   I follow thee! I follow thee!

First published in The Queenslander, 20 March 1869

Author: Edward Booth Loughran (1850-1928) was born in Glasgow, Scotland, and arrived in Australia in 1866.  Loughran began working as a teacher before moving to The Argus as a Parliamentary reporter.   He died in Kyneton, Victoria, in 1928.

Author reference sites: Austlit

The Gate of Dreams by M. Burkinshaw (Mabel Forrest)

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Here I stand at the Gate of Dreams,
   With its stern black bars and its stubborn key,
While through the hinges' chink there gleams
   The golden light that is beckoning me.

All around is the lowering night,
   And my way is crossed by these iron bars,
And overhead is the line of light
   Of the Milky Way with its million stars.

The beaten paths are all left behind
   Where we have gained and have lost so much;
And only the Gate of Dreams I find,
   Which opens not to my eager touch.

Then pity me! as a soul who stands
   Shut out from sleep's tend'rest witchery,
Longing to see those slim young hands
   Open the Gate of Dreams to me!  

First published in The Queenslander, 19 February 1898

Author reference sites: Austlit, Australian Dictionary of Biography

See also.

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