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The Home-Coming by Zora Cross

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The grass is green on the hills again,
It came at the call of the Autumn rain;
And up and down
Through the country brown
   The jubilant stock whips crack,
As over the range
From the places strange
   The cattle come hurrying back.

The bails are clean, and the milking stools
As white as the petals that star the pools,
Through the tall red gums
The thunder drums
   beat time to the roll of the rain,
When every creek
From the far-off peak
   Brought life to the land again

They come, they come by the old red way,
O God, for the joy of this sunlit day!
Be done with tears
For a month of years!
   The girls with a young, young laugh
Weave, skein on skein,
A daisy chain
   For Poly's little white calf.

Crack high the whips. They have reached the rails.
Was ever such thronging of horns and tails?
Look, Bess and Rose!
There Snowflake goes!
   But Poly's calf we may seek in vain....
What will be said
Of the young white dead
   Who never came home again?

First published in The Bulletin, 22 January 1920

He Could Have Found His Way by Kathleen Dalziel

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He could have found his way there with shut eyes,
Under the hawthorn's overhanging gloom,
He heard the fat bees fumbling through the bloom,
The starling's long, low whistle of surprise --
"Has he come home?"

So well he knew the pattern of a place
He never had set eyes on till this hour,
While the unseen beckoned, the unknown set the pace.
Blindly he went, as saints to heaven's grace
Or night-moths to a flower.

A light enveloped all things, not of day,
However it poured through polished leaves in sunny
Shafts of strange color of greeny-gold bush-honey
But shed from -- what? How many lives away?
No clue now, to any!

Then something reached out arms and gathered him in.
Preoccupied bees still crept through the pale curds
Of bloom, the sweet conversation of the birds
Continued, as he felt that spell begin
To work, not needing words.

What power had circumvented time and space,
Refuting the melancholy "Nevermore"? ...
And then he met the strangers at their door.
All things lapsed back into the commonplace,
Exactly as before.

Forgotten was the moment. People talked
According to pattern, gone the far-off tone
Of trumpets from some kingdom overthrown --
Some furnace of joy through which he must have walked,
And not alone.

First published in The Bulletin, 16 January 1952;
and later in
Australian Poetry 1953 edited by Nan McDonald, 1953; and
From the Ballads to Brennan edited by T. Inglis Moore, 1964.

Author reference site: Austlit

See also.  

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