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The Unknown Island by Mabel Forrest

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"Have you never travelled?" "No; never, Sir; I am the native born.
And my journeys lie in Australian nights to the red Australian morn.
I know the path of the leopard gum and the trail of the kumquat ridge,
And the way I go to the east and west is over a fancy bridge.
I am shut in by my turquoise sea, and walled in by my coral strand;
Oh, tell the tales of your journeying, and your lilt of a further land."

He looked at her with his world-wise eyes, and he smiled with a practised lip.
And he let the pearls of a polished tongue o'er the records of mem'ry slip,
And he told her legends of Irish lakes of heather and Scottish highland,
But the one she loved the best of all was the tale of the unknown island.

For he was king of that magic land, he was lord of the story,
And he painted fields of unfading flow'rs; skies of unclouded glory,
Till the gum trees drooped to blinded eyes, and the badge of the Queensland spring
In the wattle tufts on the scrubland edge was only a tarnished thing.
He loosed his rein, and he rode away, away to the cloud-cloaked highland,
And now she knowns 'tis a sea of tears that girdles the unknown island.

First published in The Sydney Mail, 8 December 1909

Author reference sites: AustlitAustralian Dictionary of Biography

See also.

Lily-Land by Zora Cross

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When apples of laughter spill over the grass --
Gold dreams of sweet fruit as the bright hours pass --
I think of my playmates; I wish they were I
As up in the air I swing merrily high.

The air runs like water all over my face;
My hair blows out gaily as if in a race;
I pull at the ropes with a Hip-Hip Hooray!
And I think myself far, far away in my play.

I am over the gullies and over the trees
And over and over and over the seas;
The cows and the stockyards are lost at my feet --
I'm sailing and sailing to Lily-Land sweet.

And there I alight with a wild little cry,
Ah ho! I've swung over the stars in the sky.
I stay for a blue little minute; then back --
Back, back I swing home to the dust on the track.

First published in The Australian Woman's Mirror, 4 August 1925

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