Recently in Nature Category

The World Outside by Myra Morris

| No TrackBacks
Smooth as a ship that takes
A silken sea I ride
Into the half-forgotten world
Of earth and sky outside.

Nothing there is too small,
Too large to hold and press
Deep, deep into the warm cocoon
Of my new-born consciousness.

White hens with scarlet combs
Treading the roadside grass;
Tatters of gold on totem-trees;
Clouds splintered like mirror-glass;

And, startling as a shout,
A yacca late in flower
Lifting on high pale bell on bell,
A trembling carven tower.

O tree of ivory!
O image of delight!
A warm effulgence now will fill
The darkest depths of night.

For beauty's shape ensnared
In a moment's joy lives on
As the song of a bird stays in the air
When the song is done.

First published in The Bulletin, 2 October 1957

Author reference sites: AustlitAustralian Dictionary of Biography

See also.

Embowered in Beauty by Zora Cross

| No TrackBacks
I am embowered in beauty all the year.
The young, young spring, opening her dewy eyes,
Leaves at my window scents of Paradise
In golden branches that the wattles rear.
Smooth summer wraps me in a mantle dear
Of white gum-blossoms, while pale autumn sighs
Red lead on leaf till all her largesse lies
In such clear spilth of colour as burns here.

And when the wild-haired winter breezes blow,
While yet the green world shudders to the night,
Safe in a nest of warmth I dream flower-sweet;
For in all folds of amethyst and white
The many blossoms that my love set glow
And make a rainbow carpet for my feet.

First published in The Sydney Mail, 29 September 1920

Clouds by Myra Morris

| No TrackBacks
Where sunset hues have thinly spilled 
Above the silver of the sea,
The snowy clouds dissolving, build 
O'er terraces of lambent gold, 
White palaces of ivory --
White palaces that gently soar,
With rosy roofs and glistening walls, 
With winding stairs from every floor! 
And there my fancy wanders free, 
Within the dusk of magic halls.

And high above the dreaming rim 
Of sky and water palely spun,
The clouds like ships, wind-driven, skim 
A second sea, and sailing on,
Go drifting to the crimson sun.
Fantastic ships with sails unfurled,
They move with every mast a-gleam,
Their rainbow rigging finely pearled, 
While I within these ships of cloud, 
Seem sailing to a world of dream! 
 
The white clouds lifting snowy caps, 
Rise up to ragged scaur and steep,
And through their shadow-haunted gaps, 
The mists that dim the valleys there; 
Look sweet as love, and soft as sleep. 
Past ashen hollows cold and clear, 
Past ridges lit with leaping fire,
The farthest summits stand austere!   
And there it seems I walk at last,
The mountain peaks of my desire.

First published in The Sydney Morning Herald, 7 September 1929

Author reference sites: AustlitAustralian Dictionary of Biography

See also.

Days Like Today by Kathleen Dalziel

| No TrackBacks
A little while longer! the grasshopper sang;
Seed-pods and silver-beards rippled and rang;
The very airs shook to his passionate cry
Under that uncaring autumnal sky,
Through the evenings draw in and the breeze of the morning,
A blade with an edge to it, gives me fair warning.
Stay a while, Summer, not bid the days pass.
Leave me a season to sing in the grass.
Lord of the universe, grant me, I pray
One little day longer -- just one little day. 

Madly the honey-bee buzzed in the tall
White Easter daisies against the brick wall,
Scrabbled and scrambled and fumbled and fell
Out of the door of a red-fuschia bell;
With pollen to gather and honey to seek,
Crammed in an hour the work of a week;
Blundered and floundered and buzzed as he flew.
Oh, sunlight and summertime, wait for me too;
Grant me, high heaven, before my wings fray,
One little day longer -- just one little day.

Nature, regardless of praise or protest,
Lauds, alleluias, or frantic requests,
Drowses in somnolent warmth and content,
All rivalries over and all passion spent.
But many a mortal still cries to the moon
Oh, surely, it cannot be ended so soon ...
Here's one old lover of days like today
At one with the insects, as foolish as they;
Deep in the hearts whispers, Lord, I implore
One more little season -- one little life more.

First published in The Bulletin, 4 May 1955

Author reference site: Austlit

See also.

Call of the Bush by Constance M. Le Plastrier

| No TrackBacks
I must go out to the bush to-day,
   For its witching voice I have heard;
The call of the flowers, the call of the trees,
   And, oh, the call of a bird!

Loud, clear call from the gum trees tall,  
   Soft notes in the woodland hush;
Fairy flutings of dear blue wrens,
   And, oh, the call of the thrush!

Never a king had carpet so rare
   As that which the earth has spread,
Where royal purples and tender blues
   Are blended with gold and red.

The slender clematis has spread her veil  
   Of starry blooms to the breeze;
And the bees are murmuring all day long  
   In the flowers of the tall gum trees.  

The wattle has brought from the earth's warm heart
   The gold that was hidden there;
She has hung it in tassels and fairy balls,
   And its perfume has filled the air.

I must go out from the town to-day,
   From its noise and turmoil and push,
For I hear the clear call of bird and of tree,
   And, oh, the call of the bush!

First published in The Sydney Morning Herald, 28 August 1926

Author: Constance Mary Le Plastrier (1864-1938) was born in St Kilda, Victoria, and worked as a teacher.  She wrote botany textbooks and was elected as the first woman president of Field Naturalists' Society.  She moved to Sydney in 1900 and wrote for a number of Catholic newspapers.  She is mainly known for her short stories along with two novels.  She died in Sydney in 1938.

Author reference site: Austlit

Night on the Lane Cove by Robert R. Hall

| No TrackBacks
Dewy leaves of mangroves shimmer
Breeze-stirred, and moon-bathed they glimmer.
Fancy weaves a radiant hood
O'er softly silhouetted wood.
The river's ever-changing mould   
Of ripples mirrors flecks of gold.
Clothed in moonbeams' mystic light,  
Forms of beauty grace the night.    

Lap of waves on sheltered strand,
Scrape of crab-claws on the sand,  
Drone of gnats, weird slough of breeze  
Through spreading scrub and spectral trees,
Whirring of a mopoke's wings,
His mournful hoot, small whispering things:
Myriad voices all unite  
To praise the beauty of the night.

First published
in The Sydney Morning Herald, 23 August 1930

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

The Swamp by Myra Morris

| No TrackBacks
I can forget it in the day--
That haunting shape of ill
That broods above the flooded swamp,
Oppressing it until
The waters dark with secrets lie,
Withdrawn and deadly still.

I can forget it in the day,
For then the kingcups' gold
Embroiders all the reedy edge,
And lily-buds unfold --
Their whiteness where thick stems go down
To depths unplumbed and cold.

And silver birds on silver sticks
Stay moveless by the brim,
And shallows break in silver swirls,
And gauzy creatures skim
The ripples laving with their light   
Reed, blade, and lonely limb ....

But in the night, long, long before
The moon begins to climb.
Strange sounds from eerie haunts ring out,
And things as old as time
Drag snuffling through the water-weeds,
And creep along the slime.

First published in The Sydney Morning Herald, 20 August 1938

Author reference sites: Austlit, Australian Dictionary of Biography

See also.

In the Deer Park by Clarinda Parkes

| No TrackBacks
In the thick throng, of men, and mad. turmoil;
   'Tis well there should be left, beyond the press,     
Some interspaces of untrampled soil,   
   And guarded ground of woodland wilderness;  
Where, as one sang of old, no swath is mown,
   Nor any shepherd drives his flocks to graze;
Where, for all sound, the wild bee's wings alone
   Make murmurous music through the summer days;   
Whose trees are green undimmed by dust of crowded ways.      

Dear is the memory of those northern trees,
   Whereof some few have followed us thus far,   
To spread their boughs on unfamiliar breeze     
   Unchanged, as we, beneath an alien star;
The tasselled larch, in gloom of pines embrayed;
   The sailor oak, our fathers' trust of yore;       
The spreading chestnut's depth of caverned shade;
   The autumn scarlet of the sycamore;
And honeyed lime, whose bees still hymn her liberal store.

The mourning willow's veil of slender green,
   Along the hid course where the tiny brook         
Brings to the mere its tribute tear unseen;
   The rugged elm, whereon the civic rook
Most founds his black republic in the air,
   Or smoothest beech, whose soft and tender rind,
Love's register, seems formed express to bear
   Hearts arrow-pierced, initials intertwined,
As those in Arden bore the name of Rosalind.

Under their evening shadows, through the brake
   The tall deer steal like shadows, as they go
To dip soft muzzle in the dimpled lake,
   Where, wavering doubly wide, their antlers show.
Here, too, shall come, when darkness veils the view,
   A yet more delicate footfall. None hath seen   
The steps that deal it; but the morning's dew
   Leaves dry the trodden circle on the green,
Where merry fays have danced around their elfin queen.

First published in The Australian Town and Country Journal, 13 March 1897

Author reference site: Austlit

See also.

Where the Pelican Builds by Mary Hannay Foott

| No TrackBacks
The horses were ready, the rails were down,
   But the riders lingered still --
      One had a parting word to say,
   And one had his pipe to fill.
Then they mounted, one with a granted prayer,
   And one with a grief unguessed.
      "We are going," they said, as they rode away --
   "Where the pelican builds her nest!"

They had told us of pastures wide and green,
   To be sought past the sunset's glow;
      Of rifts in the ranges by opal lit;
   And gold 'neath the river's flow.
And thirst and hunger were banished words
   When they spoke of that unknown West;
      No drought they dreaded, no flood they feared,
   Where the pelican builds her nest!

The creek at the ford was but fetlock deep
   When we watched them crossing there;
      The rains have replenished it thrice since then,
   And thrice has the rock lain bare.
But the waters of Hope have flowed and fled,
   And never from blue hill's breast
      Come back -- by the sun and the sands devoured --
   Where the pelican builds her nest.

First published in The Bulletin, 12 March 1881, and again in the same magazine on 16 May 1896;
and later in
Where the Pelican Builds and Other Poems by Mary Hannay Foott, 1885;
The Bookfellow, 29 April 1899;
An Anthology of Australian Verse edited by Bertram Stevens, 1907;
The Golden Treasury of Australian Verse edited by Bertram Stevens, 1909;
The Children's Treasury of Australian Verse edited by Bertram Stevens, 1913;
A Book of Queensland Verse edited by J. J. Stable, 1924;
The Register, 31 March 1925;
Selections from the Australian Poets edited by Bertram Stevens, 1925;
An Australasian Anthology: Australian and New Zealand Poems edited by Percival Serle, R. H. Croll and Frank Wilmot, 1927;
New Song in an Old Land edited by Rex Ingamells, 1943;
Australian Bush Ballads and Songs edited by Will Lawson, 1944;
Spoils of Time: Some Poems of the English Speaking Peoples edited by Rex Ingamells, 1948;
Favourite Australian Poems edited by Ian Mudie, 1963;
From the Ballads to Brennan edited by T. Inglis Moore, 1964;
Silence into Song: An Anthology of Australian Verse edited by Clifford O'Brien, 1968;
A Treasury of Colonial Poetry, 1982;
The Illustrated Treasury of Australian Verse edited by Beatrice Davis, 1984;
My Country: Australian Poetry and Short Stories, Two Hundred Years edited by Leonie Kramer, 1985;
The Poet's Discovery: Nineteenth Century Australia in Verse edited by Richard Douglas Jordan and Peter Pierce, 1990;
The Macmillan Anthology of Australian Literature edited by Ken L. Goodwin and Alan Lawson, 1990;
The Penguin Book of Australian Ballads edited by Elizabeth Webby and Philip Butterss, 1993;
The Oxford Book of Australian Women's Verse edited by Susan Lever, 1995;
Australian Verse: An Oxford Anthology edited by John Leonard, 1998;
Hell, Highwater and Hard Cases edited by Bruce Simpson, 1999;\
Classic Australian Verse edited by Maggie Pinkney, 2001;
Our Country: Classic Australian Poetry: From the Colonial Ballads to Paterson & Lawson edited by Michael Cook, 2004;
100 Australian Poems You Need to Know edited by Jamie Grant, 2008;
The Penguin Book of Australian Poetry edited by John Kinsella, 2009;
Macquarie PEN Anthology of Australian Literature edited by Nicholas Jose, Kerryn Goldsworthy, Anita Heiss, David McCooey, Peter Minter, Nicole Moore and Elizabeth Webby, 2009; and
The Puncher & Wattmann Anthology of Australian Poetry edited by John Leonard, 2009.

Author reference sites: Austlit, Australian Dictionary of Biography, Old Qld Poetry

See also.

Wild Raspberries and Wattle Gum by Kathleen Dalziel

| No TrackBacks
Wild raspberries and wattle gum, fit plunder for a child.
   I see the slow creek running through the swamp oaks, twos and threes,
The threaded tangle of the vines spread wandering and wild,
   And the ladies of the leaf world, the silver wattle trees.  

It's a long way from the "Twelve-mile," a long, long way from home.
   I wonder if the wattle still the scattered homestead girds?
I wonder are there children there, when Christmas seasons come,
   To hunt the timber paddocks for the treasury of the birds?

Raspberries and wattle gum. The old days are over;
   But when the long Decembers come, like someone in a dream,
I see the wattles thick with seed, the cocksfoot and the clover,
   And the vines in fruit and flower by the still brown stream.

In the long, long evenings, while the old year passes,
   Do they hear the old bush murmur like a river on its bars?
Do they hear the crickets chirping in the thin dry glasses,
   And the black swans honking homewards up among the stars?

Do the lilies bloom at Christmas still, to deck the little church?
   I do not know, I only know that if the chance should come,
I would leave the dusty city and its Christmas in the lurch  
   To go hunting for wild raspberries and golden wattle gum.

First published
in The Sydney Morning Herald, 6 December 1930

Author reference site: Austlit

See also.

Kissing Point Road by Ruth M. Bedford

| No TrackBacks
Down Kissing Point Road where we wandered to-day
The Spring has been lately and given away
Largesse of violets, purple and pale,
And orchids like butterflies, delicate frail,
         Or shiny, brown bees
         And, more lovely than these,
The clear crimson tips of the gum-trees that glowed
Like flames in the bush beside Kissing Point Road.

In the gardens we passed there were roses run mad,
Such vigorous joy in the sunlight they had;
They romped and they rioted, poured like a flood
Of blossoms, foam-white, bright as gold, red as blood.
         There were sheets of white daisies,
         A creeper that raises
A great, leafy banner, a curtain of green,
And tall red snapdragons of soldierly mien.

And Polly was happy, and my heart sang, too,
With the birds that were singing the whole long day through;
In the bush were such splendors, such secrets half-told,
Such wonders there were on the road where we strolled,
         For ever beholding
         Fresh beauty unfolding;
And if I kissed Polly and Polly kissed me,
There was no one on Kissing Point Road that could see.

First published in The Bulletin, 18 November 1915

Author reference sites: Austlit, Australian Dictionary of Biography

See also.

After the Bushfires by Zora Cross

| No TrackBacks
Where yesterday the hills were primrose pink
With Christmas bush, and flannel flowers waved fair,
And the glad gums were mottled, and the air
All a bright sheen from glass-green leaves aprink
With rosy tips, and birdlings stayed to wink
A jewelled eye new-born to their full share
Of Life's delights expectant everywhere,
Colour is crucified to the creek's brink.
Stark desolation with wild eyes looks back
On many a trapped wild creature that has swooned
'Mid ash and trees levelled to the burnt loam.
Singed of all grass the brown earth lies charred black;
And where the gully gapes like a great wound
A blind wren mourns her little lost bush home.

First published in The Sydney Morning Herald, 17 November 1936

Author reference sites: AustlitAustralian Dictionary of BiographyOld Qld Poetry

See also.

Trees Against a Distant Sky by Phyllis Gurney Wright

| No TrackBacks
I have a garden where delphiniums grow
   In rows of slender blue, and at their feet
Like pools of liquid colour pansies show
   Their wondering faces, velvety and sweet.

Not once have I stood where my zinnias glow,
   Nor sought the shadows when the sun was high,
But deep within some wild thing bids me go
   Where gum-trees wave against a distant sky.

Where gum-trees wave against the sky, and where
   In delicate profusion spreading ferns
Throw dappled shade on moss and maidenhair,
   With artistry a man's hand never learns.

A man's hand places one thing here, not there,
   And Nature laughs and says not there, but here.
My garden shows an artificial care,
   Has calculated each thing far, or near.

But when life's farthest mile-stone I have passed,
   And in some quiet, curtained room I lie,
Then shall I ask to see, of all things last
   The distant gum-trees wave against the sky.

First published in The Sydney Morning Herald, 19 October 1929

Author: nothing is known about the author of this poem

Author reference site: Austlit

Deserted Garden by Kathleen Dalziel

| No TrackBacks
This is the garden of used-to-be,
Set like an isle in an inland sea
Of grey bush rolling to leafy shallows,
On the outer edge of the hill country.

Once it was tended and kept, but, oh!
Closer and closer the saplings grow,
And the bracken gropes by the wicket-gateway;
And the silk of the thistle is spun below.

Once it was colour and scent and rain
Of bud and bloom in the roses' train;
Now there are only the oleanders
To keep their tryst with summer again.

Only the oleanders gay,
Tossing their plumes to the winds to-day,
The low winds, dusking the lonely levels
Of the brimming swamps where the wild ducks play.

Ever so lonely the gaunt hill's face,
Ever so lonely the haunted place
Where they (that fought and were sore defeated)
Lived and loved for a little space.

Here where valour and toil, hope-crowned
Lie at the end in a sleep profound.
Surely it seems that the oleanders
Scatter their petals on holy ground.

First published in The Sydney Morning Herald, 27 September 1930

Author reference sites: Austlit

See also.

Amber Wattle by Ivy Moore

| No TrackBacks
O, golden shine Spring's tresses!
   Her rosy feet are set
Where sparkling dew but stresses  
   The woodland violet.

She smiles! and, glowing yellow,  
   The scented wattles bloom
O'er the wild bushland mellow
   To where great mountains loom.

The land is touched with magic,
   And brown bees gather store
Of honey, in sweet traffic
   With Spring's own mystic lore.

O, golden shine Spring's tresses!
   And round them like a band
The amber wattle blesses
   Our fair Australian land!

First published in The Sydney Morning Herald, 24 August 1935;
nd later in
Australian Violets by Ivy Moore, 1937.

Author: Ivy Moore (1889-1956) was born in London and arrived in Australia in 1924, after marrying an Australian-born Sub-Lieutenant in the Royal Navy.  Her husband later returned to England leaving behind his wife and young child.  Moore wrote prolifically to support her family and was well known for her articles about the early days of air travel.  She died in Mosman, New South Wales in 1956.

Author reference sites: Austlit

See also.

In the Park by Zora Cross

| No TrackBacks
The eucalyptus tree upon the green,
Broad platter of the park is surely set
To decorate the day with dreams. And yet,
Sophisticated folk, in modern mien,
Idly against its pensive, grey bole lean,
Nor view the miracle, too often met,
Too seldom to be left with a regret,
Accepted but as part of a dull scene.
They haste to watch the tennis tournament,
While I, in awe, feel round about me pour
Aeons of days when, 'neath the noiseless drift
Of such lead-like, lone leaves, far time was spent...
Suddenly people, court, and park all lift
Into one vast leviathan dinosaur.

First published in The Sydney Morning Herald, 22 August 1935

Author reference sites: AustlitAustralian Dictionary of BiographyOld Qld Poetry

See also.

Gold by Ruth M. Bedford

| No TrackBacks
All the roads on Castle Hill are a-gleam with gold,
Little far-off townships lie faintly aureoled,
Down the valleys, up the slopes honey wattles throng,
Golden as a poet's dream, lovely as a song.

In the grass beside the way where the road's unrolled
Weeds and flowers raise their heads, each a bell of gold:
Mellow fairy chimes they ring for a fairy's ear,
Or upon the golden gorse birds may pause to hear.  

In so bright and fresh a world where's the heart that grieves?
See the gleaming oranges in their glossy leaves!
Everywhere on Castle Hill travellers behold
Golden blossoms, golden light, bells and balls of gold.      

First published in The Sydney Morning Herald, 14 August 1926

Author reference sites: Austlit, Australian Dictionary of Biography

See also.

Poor Soil by Mabel Forrest

| No TrackBacks
The soil is poor and grey, I know,
And wonder how poor gardens grow
Such lovely flowers. I think somehow
The leaves upon the bending bough,
Between that garden and the sky,  
Could tell me why, could tell me why!
 
It is the care the gardener gives
To every little plant that lives.
He whispers to them secret things
Above the sweet peas' fragrant wings.
He has a love-tryst with the rose --
The garden knows, the garden knows!

First published in Cairns Post, 2 August 1930

Author reference sites: Austlit, Australian Dictionary of Biography

See also.

Winter Dawn by L. H. Allen

| No TrackBacks
Not yet the red resplendence on the height,
   Through mist the treetops on the slope appear
   More dim, more deep. The grassy base is clear,
Poised delicate by a spell of frosty white.  

The scattered crofts look small and phantom-slight,  
   Smoke swaying to the wind's elusive veer.
   Furrows and pasture fringe the atmosphere
With mirrored hues that catch the growing light.

Some primal moment stills the trembling air,
   The world's held breath ere yet the first-born ray
      Launched from the sworded Tongue and lit the void.  

Till breaks the crimson flooding, brilliant, rare,
   On fields and tilth and all the things of day,
      To ruddy dew on wings exhilarant-buoyed.  

First published in The Sydney Morning Herald, 10 July 1926

Author: Leslie Holdsworth Allen (1879-1964) was born in Maryborough, Victoria, and studied at the University of Sydney and at Leipzig.  He was later Professor of English at the Royal Military College Duntroon and lecturer in English at Canberra University College. He published five volumes of poetry during his lifetime and died in Morua, New South Wales, in 1964.

Author reference sites: Austlit, Australian Dictionary of Biography

See also.

Color by Mabel Forrest

| No TrackBacks
"Where the rainbow meets the ground, shall a crock of gold be found."

On these grey days I dream of color.
   Oh, to hold the rainbow in one's arms and in one's soul,
Staining dour fancy with its streak of gold,
   Winding its ribbons for some gay maypole
Of whimsy; to entreat the damask rose
For its fresh crimsons ere the freshness goes!

To steal from mountain tops the distant blue,
   The amethyst of valleys when the sun
Tries to pry there, the misty morning through,
   Or, ere the blaze of sunset's fire is done,
To lock it in a secret chest, and see
Through the black night it burning endlessly!

Oh, to take for your own the apple-green
  Of fragile leaves before the summer dust
Has blotted there, to dull the fairy sheen,
   To keep your spoil secure from moth and rust,
With all the changing opals of the sea
Mosaic'd in the tiles of memory!

Distilling scarlets from the desert--pea,
   And ebon of its glossy heart, to find
A yellow wattle fixed eternally
   In the dark, unswept corners of the mind,
Carrying with you earth's sad trails along,
Color on color, shouting to a song!

The dazzling liveries that wild things deck,
   The glint of bronze-wing's feathers, or the ring
Of pure cerise about the bower-bird's neck,
   Blue of those wrens whom cold Julys hear sing,
The pert vermillian cap the brolga wears,
The soldier-reds the parrot's shoulder bears!

Suffusing hues in glass or china, rayed
   With prisms filched from gems for buyers' eyes,
Lacquer and pearl grave Orientals made,
   Fine Persian carpets and bold Tyrian dyes,
Tribute to gods, flung down a tawny stream:
Graves of dead kings where broken emeralds gleam.

Stone slabs enamelled in a sapphire hue,
   Half-buried in a drift of yellow sands,
Beneath a sky so wonderfully blue
   We know that Allah holds it in his hands!
And pray he spill a morsel, lest we die,
There must be blue to spare in such a sky!

Ribbons on city counters, rolled like tyres
   For pixy cars. A vivid heliotrope:
A radiant pink. The ciel a bride desires
   To make her garter of (that she may hope
For luck in loving -- as the old saw goes!)
Fastened demurely with a silver rose.

Peach blossoms blowing over sodden grass,
   Time-reddened walls, and orange creepers flung
Over brown balconies where jade moths pass,
   Oh, color has a universal tongue,
And, like a wild reveille, how it calls
From tower to tree, from water unto walls!

I think some lives are starved for color, so
   They hunger for it. As a flower might lie
Over a vault's cold floor, sick for the glow
   Of that fierce sun that burns an unseen sky --
For there be those who, seeking treasure, hold
They need the rainbow more than all the gold!

First published in The Bulletin, 15 June 1922

Author reference sites: Austlit, Australian Dictionary of Biography

See also.

Enigma by Zora Cross

| No TrackBacks
My body is a flower, a leaf of light
The good white day once gave the happy night;
A gracious melody the years still chime,
Scented with all the woman-bloom of Time.

And yet I am the mother of all things
Drifting and floating on the earth's green wings;
I give to God child-worlds of mist and star
Because my love dreams all the things that are.

First published in The Sydney Mail, 7 June 1922

Author reference sites: AustlitAustralian Dictionary of BiographyOld Qld Poetry

See also.

Morning Glory by Kathleen Dalziel

| No TrackBacks
The rambling morning-glory curled
   Her clasping tendrils through
Rubble and refuse, till the world
   Was all Madonna-blue --

Was all blue cloud and cluster, born
   Of weeds in ways remote;
Each blossom trumpet was a horn
   That blew a fairy note.

A fantasy of leaf and flower,
   So deftly, I descried,
All suddenly, the sober hour
   With beauty deified.

And, seeing that flare of flower and spray
   The barren earth adorning,
My heart forgot its winter day,
   And blossomed with the morning.

And dreams, disjointed and askew,
   Conformed to newer grace,
Where the morning-glory's myriads grew
   About the commonplace.

Her rambling banners all unfurled,
   Her armies marching through
Old desolations, till the world
   Was all Madonna-blue.

First published in The Sydney Morning Herald, 6 June 1931

Author reference sites: Austlit

See also.

A Midsummer Noon in the Australian Forest by Charles Harpur

| No TrackBacks
Not a bird disturbs the air!
There is quiet everywhere;
Over plains and over woods
What a mighty stillness broods.

   Even the grasshoppers keep
Where the coolest shadows sleep;
Even the busy ants are found
Resting in their pebbled mound;
Even the locust clingeth now
In silence to the barky bough:
And over hills and over plains
Quiet, vast and slumbrous, reigns.

   Only there's a drowsy humming
From yon warm lagoon slow coming:
'Tis the dragon-hornet - see!
All bedaubed resplendently
With yellow on a tawny ground -
Each rich spot nor square nor round,
But rudely heart-shaped, as it were
The blurred and hasty impress there,
Of vermeil-crusted seal
Dusted o'er with golden meal:
Only there's a droning where
Yon bright beetle gleams the air -
Gleams it in its droning flight
With a slanting track of light,
Till rising in the sunshine higher,
Its shards flame out like gems on fire.

   Every other thing is still,
Save the ever wakeful rill,
Whose cool murmur only throws
A cooler comfort round Repose;
Or some ripple in the sea
Of leafy boughs, where, lazily,
Tired Summer, in her forest bower
Turning with the noontide hour,
Heaves a slumbrous breath, ere she
Once more slumbers peacefully.

O 'tis easeful here to lie
Hidden from Noon's scorching eye,
In this grassy cool recess
Musing thus of Quietness.

First published in The Empire, 27 May 1851, and again in the same periodical on 28 January 1858 and on 31 July 1862;
and later in
Poems by Charles Harpur, 1883;
The Oxford Book of Australasian Verse edited by Walter Murdoch, 1918;
An Australasian Anthology: Australian and New Zealand Poems edited by Percival Serle, R. H. Croll and Frank Wilmot, 1927;
A Book of Australian Verse edited by Judith Wright, 1956;
From the Ballads to Brennan edited by T. Inglis Moore, 1964;
Silence into Song: An Anthology of Australian Verse edited by Clifford O'Brien, 1968;
The Penguin Book of Australian Verse edited by Harry Heseltine, 1972;
Australia Fair: Poems and Paintings edited by Douglas Stewart, 1974;
A Treasury of Colonial Poetry, 1982;
The Poetical Works of Charles Harpur edited by Elizabeth Perkins, 1984;
My Country: Australian Poetry and Short Stories, Two Hundred Years edited by Leonie Kramer, 1985;
Favourite Australian Poems, 1987;
Cross-Country: A Book of Australian Verse edited by John Barnes, 1988;
The Macmillan Anthology of Australian Literature edited by Ken L. Goodwin and Alan Lawson, 1990;
Voice of a Land: Three Australian Songs for Young Voices and Piano or Orchestra, 1991;
A Treasury of Bush Verse edited by G. A. Wilkes, 1991;
An Anthology of Australian Literature edited by Ch'oe Chin-yong and Cynthia Van Den Driessen, 1995;
The Illustrated Treasury of Australian Verse compiled by Beatrice Davis, 1996;
The Arnold Anthology of Post-Colonial Literatures in English edited by John Thieme, 1996;
Australian Verse: An Oxford Anthology edited by John Leonard, 1998;
Our Country: Classic Australian Poetry: From the Colonial Ballads to Paterson & Lawson  edited by Michael Cook, 2004;
Two Centuries of Australian Poetry edited by Kathrine Bell, 2007;
The Penguin Anthology of Australian Poetry by John Kinsella, 2009;
Macquarie PEN Anthology of Australian Literature edited by Nicholas Jose, Kerryn Goldsworthy, Anita Heiss, David McCooey, Peter Minter, Nicole Moore and Elizabeth Webby, 2009; and
The Puncher & Wattmann Anthology of Australian Poetry edited by John Leonard, 2009.

Note: a number of versions of this poem exist; Harpur appears to have worked on it over the years.  The first version contained 28 lines, but by 1862 this had grown to 42.  You can read more about this on the poem's Austlit page.  I have used the version as printed in The Poetical Works of Charles Harpur edited by Elizabeth Perkins, which appears to be the definitive text.  Your mileage may vary.

Author reference sites: Austlit, Australian Dictionary of Biography

See also.

The Aurora Australis by Mary Hannay Foott

| No TrackBacks
A radiance in the midnight sky
No white moon gave, nor yellow star;
We thought its red glow mounted high
Where fire and forest fought afar.

Half fearing that the township blazed,
Perchance, beyond the boundary hill;
Then finding what it was, -- we gazed
And wondered, till we shivered chill.

And pondered on the sister glow,
Of our Aurora, -- sending lines
Of lustre forth, to tint the snow
That lodges on Norwegian pines.

And South and North alternate swept,
In vision, past us, to and fro;
While stealthy winds of midnight crept
About us, whispering fast and low.

The North, whose star burns steadily, --
Night set in Heaven long ago;
The South, new risen on the sea, --
A tremulous horizon-glow.

We thought, "Shall there be gallant guests
Within our polar hermitage,
As on the shore where Franklin rests, --
And others, -- named in glory's page?"

And "Shall the light we look on blaze
Above such battles as have been, --
In other countries -- other days, --
The Giants and the Gods between?"

Till one declared, "We live to-night
In what shall be the poet's world;
Those lands 'neath our Aurora's light
Are as the rocks the Titans hurled.

"From southern waters ice-enthralled
Year after year the rays that glance
Shall see the Desert shrink appalled,
Before the City's swift advance.

"Shall see the precipice a stair, --
The river as a road. And then
There shall be voices which declare
'This work was wrought by manly men.'"

And so our South all stately swept,
In vision, past us, -- to and fro;
While stealthy winds of midnight crept
About us, -- whispering fast and low.

First published in Australian Town and Country Journal, 3 May 1873;
and later in
Where the Pelican Builds and Other Poems by Mary Hannay Foott, 1885.

Author reference sites: Austlit, Australian Dictionary of Biography, Old Qld Poetry

See also.

Mountain Moonlight by S. Elliott Napier

| No TrackBacks
The weary sun stoops westward to a bed
Made glorious for his coming; and the clouds,
All flush'd with pride, close-curtain him around.
There comes a sigh, as from a giant's breast--
A whispered parting to the dying day--
And all the world is waiting breathlessly.
High up above the sudden tree-clad gorge,
Half-hidden, now, beneath a veil of haze,
I watch the shadow of the coming Night
Sweep o'er the crowded maze of mountain tops,
Which crouch beneath it like a cluster'd brood
Stiffen'd in terror of a passing hawk.
The darkness deepens, and a few first stars
Who boldly note the absence of their lord
Shine out the message to a mighty host
Who follow shyly, till the whole vast vault
Is litter'd with their bright battalions.
And now the moon, holding her gleaming lamp,
Climbs up the azure steeps and puts to rout
The nearer and the lesser lights, who hide
Before the searching splendour of her beams.
O, witchery and wonder of the Night!
O, majesty and magic of the Moon,
The trees put on a livery of gold,
The silent hills are eloquent with light
And all the Earth is robed with grammarye.
This is the faery hour; and this the place
Where all the webs of mystery are spun,
Where Romance walks abroad and dreams come true.
I hear the horns of Oberon, and watch
The coming of Titania and her train;
Bacchantes, purple-mouth'd, with loose-flung hair,
Chase old Silenus and his panting crew,
While Goat-Foot passes, piping to his fauns.
Swift Paculet and Puck go leering by,
And Proserpine -- her lilies all restored--
Takes hand with Perdlta; and there I see
The Little People dancing in the fern.
All these and all their radiant kin are here
And walk with me to-night beneath the moon;
And as the perfum'd hours wend on their way
Their soft, mysterious, myriad voices blend
In sighs not sad, in laughter link'd with tears,
In whisper'd shy confessions, and in song.

First published in The Sydney Morning Herald, 17 April 1926

Author: Sydney Elliott Napier (1870-1940) was born in Sydney, New South Wales, and was educated at Sydney University where he trained as a solicitor.  He served with the AIF during World War I and began work as a freelance journalist on his return to Australia. He died in Chatswood, New South Wales, in 1940.

Author reference sites: Austlit

See also.

On the Plains by Arthur H. Adams

| No TrackBacks
Alone with the silence, the sun and sky,
Alone on the tussocky plain I lie.
An ocean of yellow from East to West
Still rolling and sweeping, far crest on crest;
And billow on billow the tussocks bend
Until in one shimmering haze they blend;
Where, under the distance, the heat and noon,
The plains, in an ecstasy thrilling, swoon
And melt in the yellow-tinged sombre air,
Like perfume from roses on evenings rare!
Where the sky and the misty horizon meet
The flax-bushes float like a far-of fleet.
And slowly they swim with no spray nor splash,
While swell their green sails and their brown oars flash!
So, lost in two oceans --- of plain and sky --
Full-length on the tussocks alone I lie!

First published in The Bulletin, 6 April 1895

Author: Arthur Henry Adams (1872-1936) was born in Lawrence, New Zealand, and arrived in Australia in 1898.  He studied law at the University of Otago but gave it up for journalism.  He arrived in Sydney to stage an opera, but left in 1900 to cover the Boxer Rebellion in China for the Sydney Morning Herald.  He returned to New Zealand where he started as an associate editor of the New Zealand Times before returning to Sydney and taking over the "Red Page" of The Bulletin. He was later editor of the Lone Hand and the Sydney Sun.  He died of pneumonia in Sydney in 1936.

Author reference sites: Austlit, Australian Dictionary of Biography

See also.

Snowy on the Spree by C. J. Dennis

| No TrackBacks
For the second time in two months the swollen Snowy River, which rises at Mt. Kosciusko, has disastrously flooded the Orbost plains.

Now, a stream may be a lady,
   Gleaming, dreaming placidly
Now 'twixt sunlit banks, now shady,
   Singing down to greet the sea;
Or, with passions curbed and bounded,
   Prone perchance a well-bred gent
By his code's restraints surrounded,
   Lest he should wax turbulent.

But the wild, wild Snowy River,
   He's a rough, tough mountain "bloke";
Nought can bind this fierce loose-liver
   On his periodic "soak".
Drinking deep of heady waters,
   By his Kosciusko home,
All his kindlier creed he slaughters
   When mad Snowy starts to roam.

Roaring, raving down the mountain,
   Forth fares he, on drunken legs,
Swilling more at each strong fountain
   Till he drains it to the dregs.
Eastward first he weaves and wobbles,
   Cursing, crazy, stained with clay,
Avidly he gizzles, gobbles
   Every drop that comes his way.

Southward now he makes a sally,
   Tearing at the trees and scrubs;
Down thro' many a peaceful valley,
   Calling in at all the "pubs".
On he rages, boasting, brawling,
   Till he sinks with fuddled brain,
In a drunken stupor sprawling
   Flat across the Orbost plain.

Blind to all the ill he rendered,
   Blocking many a plain-land path,
Here he lies, a sot surrendered
   To his orgy's aftermath;
Then he wakes, and, in meek fashion,
   Shamefaced, sneaks away, till he
Cools the embers of his passion
   Headlong in the healing sea.

Now a stream may be a lady
   Or a gentleman serene
Who, by sunlit ways or shady,
   Graces many a sylvan scene.
But that wild, wild woodsman, Snowy,
   Crude uncultured, swift to rage,
He's a hill "bloke", flash and showy,
   Roaring down on his rampage.

First published in The Herald, 28 February 1934

Author reference sites: C.J. Dennis, Austlit, Australian Dictionary of Biography, Australian Poetry Library

See also.

Mountain Mist by Abbey Stone

| No TrackBacks
Soft vapour encloses the blue open space,
And veils with a touch the hard rocky face;
The clouds from below billow up unaware,
The mists on the mountain and the rain in my hair.

The birds in their cover are hidden away,
Each one with its lover till break of day;
Alone on the hill-top I wander, apart,
The mist's on the mountain, and the ache in my heart.    

The trees softly bending, half seen through the gloom,
Enclose with leaves a sweet sylvan room,
Where mothers lean over, caressing and wise,
The mist's on the mountain, and tears in my eyes.

Deep silence around, ethereal and rare,
Brings joy without sound, and stills earthly care;  
The clouds circle on in their heavenly scroll,  
The mist's on the mountain, and peace in my soul.  

First published in The Sydney Morning Herald, 7 February 1925

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

Palm Beach. The Rock Pool by Ethel Turner

| No TrackBacks
God in a delicate mood parted these headlands,
   Bade His unwearying waters fret Him a bay.
All the bright breakers sang at the chance to adore Him,
   All the blue breakers rolled from His feet to obey.

Cream as the clouds curves the sand where the light foam races,
   Green, all a-patterned with grey is the gown of the land,
The land stepping down, austere, from the hill-top places
   The sky in her hair and her silver feet in the sand.  

There is a pool by the cliffs that the waves wash over,
   A clean-cut pool where a child may dive and play.
Low on the rocks it lies, like a sky-dropped mirror,
   Never a light but it catches the live-long day.

For I have waked with the sun not over the headland,
   All of the sea sun-grey, with one thrust of jade,
And in the heart of the pool, like a jewel lying,
   One point of light from the cold green thrusting made.

Nearer the top of the hill, the slow sun struggles,
   Primrose drifts on the sea with one purple stain,
And now in the pool's pale silver, is lying, lovely.
   Violet, amethyst, amethyst, violet again.

Wild rose in the pool, white clouds and the sunset's rainbow,
   A moon in the pool, a shy moon, bathing alone,
And, as I sleep, the stars sown in millions around me,
   One shoots down and drowns in it like a stone.

God, in a delicate mood, parted these headlands,
   God let the breakers fret Him this delicate bay,
Man made the pool, the clean-cut pool in the boulders,
   God, in a delicate mood, glances its way.      

First published in The Sydney Morning Herald, 6 February 1926

Author: Ethel Mary Turner (1870-1958)  was born at Balby, Yorkshire, England and migrated to Australia with her mother and sisters in 1879.  By that time her mother had been widowed twice - the second husband provided Turner with her professional writing name.  After an education at Sydney Girls' High School, Turner had her first short story published in The Bulletin in 1893, with her best known work, the children's novel Seven Little Australians, appearing in 1894.   Although best known as a writer for children Turner wrote some poetry, though she was by no means prolific in that form.

Author reference sites: Austlit, Australian Dictionary of Biography

See also.

About this Archive

This page is an archive of recent entries in the Nature category.

Natural Disaster is the previous category.

Night is the next category.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.

Categories

Powered by Movable Type 4.23-en