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