Recently in Seasons Category

Winter Eves by Zora Cross

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Who does not love on Winter eves to walk
   By leafy path and cool secluded way,
Where not one loiterer remains to talk
   Nor lyre-bird stays to play
With noisy murmur, when the leaf and stalk,
   Each in communion grey,
Tap no regretful legend to the past,
   Sing no distressful lay, nor shadow cast,
Nor sighing make for Autumn flown so fast?

I do. I love the silence of the hills,
   And the deep peace made browner by repose,
And the seed rustling underfoot that thrills
   My blood until it glows
With mellow memories that haunt the rills
   Running where Childhood blows
Her bubbles of reflection, still as cool
   As when we blew then with her after school,
With reeds for pipes, beside the swimming-pool.

Who does not love on Winter eves to walk
   Down gullies steep and valleys full of rest,
Where neither man nor Nature seems to balk
   The ease within the breast
While the oak flowers like powdered golden chalk
   Scatter for earth's old nest?
Who does not love these pleasures to command
   When the trees sleep like brothers hand-in-hand,
He has not known my love nor my dear land.

First published in The Sydney Mail, 26 July 1922

Spring by Zora Cross

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Since I must die, let not a knell be mine
   Quietly tolled in autumn, when leaves fall 
Lighter as love for the swift summer's pall;
Nor yet in winter, when the bare, cold vine 
Of my wistaria no more may twine
   With its green arms the sunny garden wall,  
   But sleeps, forgetful of life's happy call, 
Like an old poet dreaming of good wine. 

No! let dear spring, when delicately dight
   In rose and white her birds throng every tree,  
Shake out the perfumed banner of her hair 
With blossoms thick upon my shadowy sight,
   Till, blind with beauty, deaf with melody, 
   I pass amid her clamour with no care.

First published in The Australasian, 23 July 1921

The Fall of the Leaf by Kathleen Dalziel

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Where is the blackbird's golden note,
   Flung from a topmost garden bough?
Gone, and, under the vague remote
   Noonday blue, he is silent now.
The thrushes are dumb, and vanished long;
   The cuckoos' plaintive and sweet refrain,
Over the paddocks blown along
   A windy ruffle of springtime rain. 

Where are the green cicadas now?
   The fairy fiddles of summer noon, 
Gone, and under the lightwood bough
   Sadly the mild mole crickets croon. 
About their shoulders the foot hills fold
   A filmy shawl of the morning mist, 
And the blue sea line and the ranges old
   Are clad in a cloak of amethyst.

Magpie bells down the misty track,
   Morning comes with a touch of rime. 
But, while winter brings springtime back,
   Some hearts keep autumn all of the time;
And that, I fear, is the way with me,
   Skies not weeping, yet always grey,
And the flag of defeat on flower and tree.
   Since the close of the summer you went away.

First published in The Brisbane Courier, 21 June 1930

Author reference site: Austlit

See also.

Indian Summer by Kathleen Dalziel

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Autumn has filled up her apron with gold,  
And trailed her bright shawl round the edge of the world.
Evening draws in and the dawn goes acold
When the first brittle flag of the frost is unfurled.
But still the clear moonlight in carelessness spills
O'er hillock and hollow a generous store,
So, Indian summer comes over the hills
Soon, soon to be ended and summer no more.

The Pixies have hung their gay lanterns of red
Where the apple bends under its bright autumn load.
There are white veils of mist on the wild mountain head,
And white sprays of dew down the corduroy road,
Like embers aglow on the dead season's pyre
Lit long, long ago by the priesthood of Pan.
The orchard leaves glimmer with glints of gold fire
Where summer passed by with her proud caravan.

Surely, when our little summer is ending
And winter winds find it, a tale that is told,
With colours and warmth from the gift of her lending
Maybe we'll weave us a cloak from the cold,
Love's crystal chalice will drink to the draining.
(Life's little comedy swiftly is o'er.)
While the star of our Eden dips swift to its waning,
And all of a sudden it's summer no more.

First published in The Brisbane Courier, 15 June 1929

Author reference site: Austlit

See also.

Autumn by Kathleen Dalziel

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The grape bloom lies on the ridges
   And the dusty gold is blown,
And a wavering cloud of midges
   By the way that I walk -- alone.
Well, I gave you the Spring and the Summer,
   But the Autumn is my own!

There's a blue haze over the mallee,
   Where the fallowing acres lie;
There's a low mist down in the valley
   And the sun gone low in the sky.
And Peace has measured her steps with me,
   This many a day gone by.

I may dream of youth and the Spring-time,
   And the wild sweet gladness flown;
I may grieve for love and the Summer lost
   When the Winter's challenge is thrown,
But the calm of Heaven is round em now,
   And the Autumn is my own!

First published in The Australian Woman's Mirror, 14 May 1929

Author reference site: Austlit

See also

Autumn by Zora Cross

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Parrot-pretty, April led,
   Now begins to peep and prink
Slender autumn robin-red,
   Red-head gentle, cosmos-pink.

Scarlet leaves gleam here and there,
   Weeds burn crimson, garnet-brown,
Rosy in the ruddy air
   Slim oaks shake bronze blossoms down.

First published in The Sydney Mail, 30 March 1927

Summer Noon by Myra Morris

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O lovely sun!
Lay your hot fingers lovingly
One by one
On the silk of my hair,
Salt-smeared, fire-spun!
Lean on the drooped lids of my eyes
That hold the blue of remembered skies!
Pierce through the amber of my skin,
Right in, right in,
Till your fingers play
On the heart of me that is hid away --
Till I and this Summer noon, O sun,
Till you and I and this hour are one!

First published in The Australian Woman's Mirror, 11 March 1930

Author reference sites: AustlitAustralian Dictionary of Biography

See also.

Sonnet by Zora Cross

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Think not but that I miss you still, though Time 
Bids me to welcome in your rival now
With many a bud and blossomy fragrant bough 
Whose every colour mates in perfect rhyme. 
I am not fickle, nor count it a crime
To change my loves, and feel upon my brow 
Another's kisses, since you taught me how
To bear your loss the less I felt your prime. 
So let me gather the new garlands in,
And deck the hearth, and go my flowery way, 
And, since it seems I must, let me still sing. 
To love again so soon can be no sin,
Since all too soon you chose no more to stay, 
Winter, and left my heart vacant for spring.

First published in The Sydney Morning Herald, 2 February 1937

The Dying Spring by Kathleen Dalziel

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The sunset filled the western sky with splendor,
   A glorious end to Spring's last dying day,
Low, light clouds trailed their rosy garments slowly
    Through halls of clearest azure, far away,
Until the light departed sure and swiftly,
   Leaving the afterglow all chill and grey.

Only a few large stars were gleaming brightly,
   A half-moon looked from out a darkening sky,
A gentle breeze was stirring lightly
   Among the crimson roses climbing nigh,
As Summer softly stepped, with half-closed wing,
   Into the palace of the dying Spring.

First published in The Bulletin, 7 January 1904

Author reference site: Austlit

See also.  

Children of the Sun by C.J. Dennis

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In ideal Christmas holiday weather tens of thousands of Australians are thronging pleasure resorts gathering strength for another year's labor's.

The Children of the Sun are out,
   About the hills and beaches -
The stolid burghers halo and stout,
The tailored sheik, the city lout,
   And plain blokes with their peaches,
And dinkum coves alert and brown;
While over all the sun shines down.

The Children of the Sun are prone
   To sunlight, play and pleasure;
And sober-minded mentors groan
And shake their beads and gravely moan
   O'er all this love of leisure.
This lust for sport and sun they say
Will surely bring its reckoning day.

The Children of the Sun heed not,
  But laugh and gather vigor,
Where summer days shine gold and hot,
They bask in many a sylvan spot
   To meet a new year's rigor.
And who shall say they are not wise?
Strength languishes when pleasure dies.

The Children of the Sun but know
   That while the sun is shining
And glad life beckons they must go;
For souls too long akin to woe
   Lost all thro' much repining.
Rejuvenation bids them hence,
Then who shall cry "Improvidence"?

First published in The Herald, 30 December 1931

The Lure of Spring by C.J. Dennis

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As I walked out one brave spring morn,
   When earth was young and new,
I met a laughing mountain maid
   As fresh as mountain dew.
Oh, blow you breezes; shine, you sun!
For this the world was well begun.
   And spring's soft promise, lifted high,
   Shone wattle gold against blue sky. 

As I walked with her that spring morn
   I sought her brave young eyes,
And to earth's olden mysteries
   I straightway read replies.
Oh, yearn you, gum-tips to the sun!
For this the world was well begun.
   And mysteries thronged about us now
   As green buds swelled upon the bough.

I have walked out on many a Spring
   Since that long-vanished day;
But aught of that ill-treasured lore
   Recapture no man may.
Yet, laugh you, young grass to the sun!
For that the world was well begun.
   And every bird-song gladly sung
   Still whispers secrets to earth's young.

As I walk out this brave spring morn,
   And man and maid I see
By some green way, I thank kind life
   That gave one Spring to me.
Oh, blow you breezes; shine you sun!
For this the world was well begun:
   That spring holds for young lovers yet
   Deep secrets that the old forget.

First published in The Herald, 17 September 1934;
and later in
The Queenslander, 27 September 1934.

The Turn of the Year by C.J. Dennis

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Now, with the turn of the year, as days grow appreciably longer after the winter solstice, soaking rains have fallen; bringing discomfort to some, but unalloyed joy to the many places where rain was most urgently needed.

The daylight is waxing,
   The long, dreary night,
Our tempers once taxing,
   Now flees before light --
Now flees before day;
   For the darkness is waning.
But, alas, who can say
   How rain may be raining?
How skies may be raining
   Ere winter be done
To end our complaining?
   Come sun?  Come sun!

The thrushes are singing
   By hill and by creek.
They are blissfully winging,
   With straws in the beak --
With straws for the nest
   And with fern and with feather
They toil with a zest
  In the wettest of weather --
In all sorts of weather
   They toil as they sing.
Too soon altogether
   Come spring!  Come spring!

With snuffling and sneezing,
   With wool next the skin,
With coughing and sneezing,
   Wrapped up to the chin --
Wrapped up, we complain;
   For there's none could be numb-er,
In cold wind and rain
   We grow glummer and glummer --
Wrapped round, we grow glummer --
   Each peevish cocoon.
Ah, Summer, Sweet Summer,
   Come soon!  Come soon!

But out in the Mallee,
   By Wimmera's plains,
By rain-rejoiced valley
   They're counting their gains --
They are counting their cheer
   They are finished with grumbling.
The turn of the year! 
   Now the little creeks tumbling --
Rain-fed they go tumbling
   To join the refrain
Of wide rivers rumbling.
   "The rain!  The rain!"

First published in The Herald, 6 July 1934

Winter Rhapsody by C.J. Dennis

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Winter has come; and tardily --
   Now little nipping winds are rife
Where laggard leaves, on many a tree,
   Still cling tenaciously to life.
Spent Autumn with a myriad hues
   Had laughed at death and mocked the worm.
And now bluff Winter shouts glad news
Of Winter joys, which I refuse,
   I simply sit and squirm.

For Winter, too, holds many joys,
   Pert flappers, furred to ears and chin,
With painted lips, to lure the boys,
   And hose that lets the breezes in
Go laughing by . . . A gladness cleaves
   E'en to yon toiler, who with firm,
Swift strokes, sweeps up the fallen leaves
And, working, whistles. . . . No Man grieves
   Save I who sit and squirm.

He whistles on in merry mood,
   And sweeps, and sweeps along the street.
"How like all futile life," I brood.
   Nought but frustration, death, defeat.
For as he sweeps, poor toiling hack --
   Sweeps up dead leaf and deadly germ,
Rude winds arise and sweep them back,
And all's to do again!  Alack!
   I sit, and sneer, and squirm.

I squirm to hear the football fans'
   Impassioned cry of "On the ball!"
Lure of the links, the punter's plans --
   I squirm, I squirm, and scorn them all,
I squirm while thrushes, fluting free,
   Shout triumph over clammy care....
Ah, laggard leaf upon the tree,
   Squirm on, and join my thenody;
For Winter's only gift to me
   Is woollen underwear.

First published in The Herald, 18 May 1934

Winter by C.J. Dennis

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Winter comes; and our complaints
Grow apace as summer faints,
   Waning days grow dull and drear,
   Something tells, too well, I fear,
That I've found a germ or two;
Something seems -- ee! -- ah!  Tish-OO.

Subthig certigly does tell
That I'b very far frob weel.
   Ad I'b cadging cold, I fear
   As the wading days grow near,
Winter cubs; ad our complades
Grow apace as subber fades.

First published in The Sun-News Pictorial, 5 May 1927

Autumn Interlude by C.J. Dennis

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These autumn days, of tempestuous storms alternating with decidedly warm sunshine, seem to have bewildered more than mere humans.  Since, in the absence of frosts, many summer blooms still struggle on, even the wise bees seem not to know what to make of it.

I said goodbye to the bees last Friday week,
To blooms, and to things like these, for Winter bleak
   Was shouting loud from the hills, and flinging high
   His gossamer net that fills frail Autumn's sky.
So I said goodbye to the bees; for I knew that soon
I should bask no more 'neath the trees on some high noon
   And hark to the drowsy hum close overhead.
   For the cold and rain must come, now Summer's dead.

So I wallowed a while in woe and wooed unease;
And I rather liked it so; for it seemed to please
   Some clamoring inner urge -- some need apart,
   And I felt self-pity surge, here, in my heart
As I said goodbye to the bees, my tireless friends
Who toil mid the flowers and the trees till daylight ends --
   Who toil in the sun, yet seem to find no irk,
   While I loll in the shade and dream; for I do love work.

Ah, fate and the falling leaf!  How dear is woe.
How subtly sweet is grief (Synthetic).  So
   I said goodbye to the bees; and then I wrote
   This crown of threnodies, while in my throat
I choked back many a sob and salt tears spent.
But I felt I'd done my job, and was content.
   For I'd penned my piece to the bees -- the poet's tosh
   Of the Autumn's drear unease.  Ah, me! Oh, gosh!

I said goodbye to the bees last Friday week....
Then the tempest shook the trees, the swollen creek
   Went thundering down to the plain, the wind shrieked past,
   And the cold, and the wet, wet rain were here at last....
Then, a hot sun, scorning rules, shone forth, alack!
And those blundering, blithering fools, the bees came back,
   Humming a song inane in the rain-washed trees. . . .
   Now it's all to do again. . . . Oh, blast the bees!

First published in The Herald, 1 May 1935

Week-Ends by C.J. Dennis

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I don't know what's come to the summer
   In these dull and decadent years;
But a fellow grows glummer and glummer
   As promise of autumn appears;
For there's not been a sign of a week-end of shine,
   Or the sun on the sea all aglimmer.
And, as the weeks pass, wet and windy, alas,
   Thin hope grows yet slimmer and slimmer.

Oh, the sad days, the mad days,
   Of rain and wind and mud!
The week speeds by with the sun on high
   To come a sickening thud.
When the slippery slosh of the gum golosh
   On the soaked and sodden ground
Thro' the country lane sounds once again
   When the week-end comes around.

When I go to the bush for a week-end
  From a city aglow in the sun,
My holiday comes to a bleak end
   Ere half a day's length has been run.
And I gaze thro' the pane at the splattering rain,
   Forlorn thro' a profitless Sunday,
And come back to town with the sun pouring down
   To smile on my labors on Monday.

Oh, the weekends, when pique ends
   In grim and gaunt despair!
Hope wakes anew as all week thro'
   The glass is pointing fair,
And fine and warm: but a lurking storm
   Behind the high hills grows
To spread dismay each Saturday --
   And another week-end goes.

First published in The Herald, 2 February 1931

Sonnet: The New Year by D. Glasson

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It rides upon the air, insistent, clear,
   The grave carillion's melancholy chime,  
That knells the passing of another year.  
   Another milestone on the road of Time
Has slipped into the silent Past, ere we
   Had well descried it loom from out the night
That shrouds the highway of the dim To Be,
   And, like a wraith has vanished from our sight.
But, hark! a note triumphant, unafraid,
   Steals through the singing of the throbbing bells,
Like golden sunlight, filtering through shade,
   Of hope reborn and faith its message tells,
And lo! before us, like a clean, white scroll,
   Unwinds the broad, straight roadway to our goal!

First published in The Sydney Morning Herald, 29 December 1928

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

Author reference site: Austlit

December by Zora Cross

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Unceremoniously heeling Spring,
Over the creek and up the mountainside,
Soft, snowy flocks of flannel flowers outstride 
Grevillea and heath. Shrill crickets sing 
Summer's blithe diapason, and birds wing
The sky in full-fledged confidence of pride.
While gaunt gum trees, bud by bud multiplied, 
Cream into tumultuous blossoming.

Gallant December takes the bush by storm, 
Darting hot-foot between the underbrush
In ti-tree white. Pink-tipped, the air foretells, 
Far off, how swiftly other blossoms form. . . 
Suddenly hills and glens and ridges blush
Crimson with Christmas bush and Christmas bells.

First published in The Sydney Morning Herald, 7 December 1937

November by Lola Gornall

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Clover in the young, green turf,
   Like a creamy foam of surf,
Breaking earth's brown lethargy,
   With its summer's prophecy,
While up and down the red roadside
   The dandelions, like soldiers, ride,
Radiant in golden coats,  
   Emerald buttons at their throats.  

In the fields where yesterday
   Only the barren furrows lay
A thousand shoots of every grain
   Lift eager heads of hope again,
And, just returned from alien skies,
   The restless swallow in new guise,
His circling wings unfurling,
   Keeps whirling whirling, whirling.

Into dividual liberty,
   Each tiny leaf, each flower and tree,
Earth-bound and lost so long,
   Springs green, and glad, and strong. . .
Even the snail upon the thorn
   Puts forth a llttle horn,
Glad to be numbered with the least
   Partaking of November's feast.  

First published in The Sydney Morning Herald, 1 November 1924

Author reference site: Austlit

See also.

October by Zora Cross

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Warm-eyed amid her orange-colored hair,
   October dresses hill and field in gold,
   Showering the hoary rocks and gullies old
With cataracts of lilies everywhere.
From out the ground the orchards shyly dare
   To try their wings above the mother-mould;
   And in mild wildness growing garden-bold,
Small yellow primroses sip the saffron air.

Spring's carried out her winter-dead once more,
   To the flower-music of a million bells.
Brown earth breathes out the scent of her first kiss.
Ah, just this morn from my own mountain door
   I saw bare railway cuttings changed to dells,
Drenched in white cascades of wild clematis.

First published in The Bulletin, 19 October 1922

Author reference sites: AustlitAustralian Dictionary of BiographyOld Qld Poetry

See also.

Spring by Will M. Fleming

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In blue and gold she comes again,
   And all the world must sing
A thousand new-found melodies,
   To welcome joyous spring.

From hill and vale, from earth and sky
   A shout of praise goes forth,
The horsemen whistle as they ride
   By south and west and north.

For dull indeed is he who fails
   To face his life anew,
With heightened hopes and eager eyes,
   To see the story through.

While all the woes the world can show,
   May come and disappear,
Our heads are high, because we know
   That spring comes every year.

First published in The Sydney Morning Herald, 7 September 1929

Author reference sites: Austlit, Australian Dictionary of Biography

See also.

Fugitive by Ruth M. Bedford

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I brought the Spring into the house,
But the Spring did not stay;  
I filled a jar with young green boughs,
Delicate, fresh, and gay;
But they missed the sunny, the windy air,
The house seemed dark to them, full of care,
And they withered away.

I will go and follow the Spring
Over the hills away;   
Light is laughing there, birds awing,
And all Spring on a spray;
By half-seen blossoms and trailing vines
Where the wind flows and the sun shines     
I'll laugh and I'll play.

The Spring will go with me, hand in hand,
Happily all the way,
Showing me over his wide green land
All in its new array.
The house is Winter's where youth will pine
But out-of-doors is the Spring's and mine
For the whole bright day.

First published in The Sydney Morning Herald, 8 August 1931

Author reference sites: Austlit, Australian Dictionary of Biography

See also.

August by Zora Cross

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Feathers of frost still flaunt their loveliness,
But it is useless to pretend earth cares.
A rendezvous clandestinely she shares
With an old love whose lips she soon will press.
Already now her hardenbergia dress
In bright unrationed purple lengths she wears,
And cool uncouponed blossom-gauze prepares.
Despite the pathos of the world's distress.
The solid sweetness of the banksia now
To the frail wattle's transient scent gives way,
And the first orchid points a pale pink spear.
A sweet thick note resounds from bough to bough.
The pallid cuckoo has returned to say
Whether you like or not the spring is here.

First published in The Sydney Morning Herald, 5 August 1944

Author reference sites: AustlitAustralian Dictionary of BiographyOld Qld Poetry

See also.

Winter by William Main

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The piercing cold winds blow o'er paddocks brown and bare;
Leaner and leaner grow the stock on winter fare;
The ribs of horses show 'neath rough coats void of sheen
As on they vainly go searching for grasses green.
The earth now takes her rest, till sounds the voice of Spring;
The cold winds from the West but fleeting sadness bring.
But sadness from my heart no Spring will e'er remove;
Summer is but a part of winter, O my love!
If I ne'er see again the love-light in your eyes
The sun shines all in vain in blue unclouded skies;
Cold shall my heart remain till life within me dies.

First published in The Queenslander, 21 July 1894

Author reference site: Austlit

See also.

Winter Quiet by David McKee Wright

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Chill silence led the evening by the hand
   Down to a breathless place beneath the trees
   Where all the dark was full of memories
Of the brave summer walking through the land --
A prophet that the boughs could understand
   When all the warm apostles of the breeze
   Stirred the new bloom to honeyed ecstacies
And birds to song, and all the world was bland.

Deep in the gentle places of the mind,
   Chilled by the winter of some dim regret,
We walk with silence; and no thought may sing
For love of life the mate-song of its kind.
   Our muffled steps in the pale glooms are set,
Passing from Summer on the path of Spring.

First published in The Bulletin, 12 June 1924

Author reference sites: Austlit, Australian Dictionary of Biography

See also.

Midsummer by Mabel Forrest

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A hot wind down the terrace blows,
   Behind the garden rail,
The languid flowers droop their heads,
Tall hollyhocks in pinks and reds,
   Hibiscus blossoms pale.

The sparrows twitter in the shade
   Of heavy mango trees;
I draw the shutters close, and hide
The bright and thirsty world outside
   To dream of tumbling seas.

To muse on miles of shell-strewn beach,  
   Of glistening wave-wet sands,
Longing for sight of that far place --
And most of all for her glad face
   And small, cool, outstretched hands.      

First published in The Australian Town and Country Journal, 7 June 1905

Author reference sites: Austlit, Australian Dictionary of Biography

See also.

May by Zora Cross

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Blue April in her cloak of green
   Went down the mountain-side;
And with a tender mother-mien
   The autumn bareness spied.

Redheads the leafy silence split;
   And as she marked their lay
The first white wattle flare she lit
   To herald yellow May.

First published in The Bulletin, 25 May 1922

Author reference sites: AustlitAustralian Dictionary of BiographyOld Qld Poetry

See also.

Winter Willow by L. H. Allen

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The tempest-wind that shouts along the pass,
Pours flood-like on the plain and cuts the skin
With tingling thong. The thick clouds break and spin  
Round pools of sky that dapple the whirled mass.

The shaken tussocks of the sering grass
Whistle disconsolate beneath the din,  
A flurrying greyness breaking cold and thin
On the chill river's dull and troubled glass.

Above the stream an eddy of pale leaves.
A spiral helplessness, a twittering check,
A slanting flutter, and the waifs are gone!

An old stripped willow o'er its image grieves,
In the deep desolation of its wreck,
Drooped over memory, disillusioned, wan.

First published in The Sydney Morning Herald, 22 May 1926;
and later in
Patria: Poems by L. H. Allen,  1941.

Author reference sites: Austlit, Australian Dictionary of Biography

See also.

Sydney -- April, 1919 by Mabel Forrest

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They are such lovely days, these April days,
When Autumn cools the summer air, and high
The shadowy pine-trees lift towards the sky,
Through the blue haze of autumn-tempered noons,
A crest of welcome for the winter moons.

They are such lovely days, these April days,
When Autumn gives her lips to Summer's mouth.
But, ah, how fares it with you in the South,
My queenly city girdled by the sea,
'Midst haunting towers of happy memory?

They are such lovely days, these April days.
Was there no shield to guard that loveliness
That shimmers through the twilight of her dress,
That loveliness of lilacs and of reds,
That lies beyond the hauteur of the Heads?

They are such lovely days, these April days.
But my heart aches, away in Brisbane town,
Because, beneath my southern city's gown
(With the lace mask across her ripe mouth prest),
There grows a plague-spot on that perfect breast.

First published in The Bulletin, 17 April 1919

Author reference sites: Austlit, Australian Dictionary of Biography

See also.

April by Zora Cross

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April is a lady,
Brown as a leaf,
In vale cool and shady,
April is a lady.
Though rain grey as grief
Fall -- to be brief,
April is a lady,
Brown as a leaf.

First published in The Sydney Morning Herald, 6 April 1937

Author reference sites: AustlitAustralian Dictionary of BiographyOld Qld Poetry

See also.

April Gold by Kathleen Dalziel

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Athwart the last sunflowers
   Across the valleys fold,
The sunlight pours bright showers
   Of shining April gold.

Gold on the sleepy ridges,
   Gold on the creek that twines
Beneath the mossy bridges
   And green blackberry vines.  

Gold where the groups of hoary
   Old pines keep watch and warden,
Gold on the patchwork glory
   Of my gay coloured garden.

Where autumn draws a hazy
   Gold pattern down the walks,
Past sprays of Easter daisy
   And nodding dahlia stalks.

Pale filtered gold that shivers
   Through boughs by south winds pressed,
Before the first star quivers,
   A gold flake in the west.

For days when keen winds racket
   Down ways grown chill and cold,
If I could keep a packet
   Of airy April gold.

First published in The Brisbane Courier, 22 March 1930

Author reference site: Austlit

See also.

January by Robert A. Smith

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Oh, the blessed warmth of the sun, and the smell of the grass and clover,
   And up in the blue of the sky the milky arc of the moon!
Here there is deep content, where the spreading pines bend over,
   And the brittle gorse-pods crack in the heat of the summer noon.

The bay is a sapphire shield, and the old red hulks are lying
   As still as the yellow isle on guard at the harbor's mouth;
Up on the silent hill-slope scarcely a breeze is sighing,
   Only a far high cloud drifts slowly to the south.

The manuka is abloom like snow that fell in December;
   Tall as a child of seven the flowering grasses stand;
And the flower of the flax is red -- oh, heart, 'tis a day to remember!
   And it's summer, summer summer, all over the happy land.

And where is there space for doubt, and where is there room for sorrow?
   Oh, summer of deep fulfilment, my heart is a flake of foam
On the sunlit crest of a wave of hope for the dawning morrow,
   When I'll wake to the certain knowledge of joy that is coming home!

First published in The Bulletin, 12 January 1922

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

Author reference site: Austlit

December by A. J. Rolfe

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   Though the warrior's sun has set
   Its light shall linger round us yet,
   Bright, radiant, blest.

               LONGFELLOW.

The year's last milestone on the journey home!
   Ah! as we ponder o'er the toilworn road,
A road by winding paths made wearisome,
   Have we done aught to light another's load,
To cheer some heart in sorrow, or to calm
   Some storm-tossed soul upon the sea of doubt,
To soothe some aching heart with healing balm,
   To hold aloft Hope's pennon streaming out?
Then we can gaze along our path with joy,
   Knowing that bleeding footmarks, once impressed,
Have not been vainly trodden; this shall buoy
   Our feeble footsteps on to perfect rest.
And when at last our rugged race is run
Our Master's loving voice will say, "Well done."

First published in The Queenslander, 3 December 1892
and later in:
A Sheaf of Sonnets by A. J. Rolfe, 1892

Note: this poem in the twelfth in a sequence of poems that the author wrote about each month of the year.

Author reference sites: Austlit

See also.

November by A.J. Rolfe

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      What a glory doth this world put on
      For him who with a fervent heart goes forth.
                                       Longfellow.


The waves of golden light spread in the East,
   Flooding the sky with glory; o'er the hills
The King of Day mounts slowly; and released
   From sleep, the world, refreshed from toils and ills,
Its round begins; fair Nature's lovely face
   Smiles on the glorious handiwork of God,
Teaching her willing votary to trace
   The Artist Hand in paths that few have trod.
The birds are caroling their joyous lay,
   The fragrance-breathing flowers lovingly
Send forth their grateful thanks; and far away
   The mountains lift their heads in ecstasy.
All Nature gladly shouts in one long strain
A long of love; and earth resounds again.

First published in The Queenslander, 12 November 1892;
and later in:
A Sheaf of Sonnets by A. J. Rolfe, 1892

Note: this poem in the eleventh in a sequence of poems that the author wrote about each month of the year.

Author reference sites: Austlit

See also.

Spring Rejuvenation by Zora Cross

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O meadows, flower again! O wild birds, sing!
So I may tell you how bright ye be, how sweet!
O sea, splash up your spray at my lone feet   
So I may sing and some small comfort bring
To him who cannot bridge imagining,  
Who cannot see, who cannot hear, wind-fleet,      
The chargers of the morning once more beat     
Mad music from their very hooves for spring.
O let me tell how now the sap is up,
And every living thing, with promise stirred,   
Trembles to exquisite adventures new,
As the fresh gold of the first buttercup      
Till, heart of me, the very earth's a bird
Beating glad wings tumultuous in the blue.

First published in The Sydney Morning Herald, 27 October 1928

Author reference sites: AustlitAustralian Dictionary of BiographyOld Qld Poetry

See also.

Harbingers by Kathleen Dalziel

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Hushed in the quiet evening, and the earth lies listening,
Hearing the first faint urge that ushers forth the southern spring.

Softer and sweeter grow the cloudy airs at west's green gate,
And through the light a lovely promise stirs "She'll not be late."

In the high boughs, above the budding clover, out in the cold,
I heard a thrush courageous trying over his notes of gold.

And the wind-bent company of wattle trees fling out abroad
Beneath the fugitive stars the fragrant keys of memory's hoard.  

There is a poem unwritten, a song unsung, and a prayer unsaid,
And music all unheard, sweet bells unswing above and overhead.

Hushed in the quiet eve, the low winds sough and the light boughs sway,
And the waiting earth whispers: "She is not now so very far away."

First published in The Brisbane Courier, 12 October 1929

Author reference sites: Austlit

See also.

October by A. J. Rolfe

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"All things shall rise again with sweeter blossoming."

After the night the beauteous light of dawn
   Shines on the waking world with smiling face,
The wintry night has changed to Spring's fair morn,
   The bursting buds and blossoms bloom apace.   
Nature, revived, rejoices in her birth,
   Clothing the hills and vales with freshest green,
And spreads her bounteous hand with gladsome mirth
   To deck the fields with flowers of fairest sheen.
All things must die to live: for every seed
   That falleth to the ground, except it die,
Abides alone; and in earth's bosom hid
   Springs up from death to life and liberty.
So from the earth, like morning larks on wing,
   Our souls shall rise to everlasting Spring.

First published in The Queenslander, 1 October 1892;
and later in:
A Sheaf of Sonnets by A. J. Rolfe, 1892

Note: this poem in the tenth in a sequence of poems that the author wrote about each month of the year.

Author reference sites: Austlit

See also.

Spring by Zora Cross

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Io! Io! Evohe O!
The wine of Spring is in the air!
With leaves of Laughter in their hair
The merry, mad, young maenads blow
Their glad pipes everywhere.

The lord of Youth his thrysus swings
Above his round and jolly head,
As riding on a heifer red,
With flowery horns and flanks, he springs
Across the river bed.

He leads a jocund company
Of prancing kids and dimpled girls,
Whose whirling arms and flying curls
And feet afire with dancing glee
Are ripe for revelry.

They follow on. Io! Io!
They leap his heifer'a back, limb-light;
Or pinch the silken sides and white
Of plump, young calves, that skipping go
To browse 'mid clover-snow.

And one, more merry than the rest,
Up-jumps and tugs and pulls him down.
She rolls with him, all free from frown
Amongst the grasses, breast to breast,
Till others join the jest.

They poke him with their pearly thumbs,
They tumble him from hand to hand.
He, dodging half the joyous band,
Nips soft in play the first who comes
And all her sweetness plumbs.

But doubled-up with mirth at last,
His hearty laugh rings blithely round.
The forest dimples at its sound
With flocks of flowers the bes hold fast;
And young birds chirrup past.

The wine of Spring is in the air!
Io! Io! Evohe O!
Drink deep! Drink long! The goblets flow
With Life, and Joy that scatters Care,
And Youth reigns everywhere.

First published in The Bulletin, 20 September 1917;
and later in
Songs of Love and Life by Zora Cross, 1917.

Author reference sites: AustlitAustralian Dictionary of BiographyOld Qld Poetry

See also.

September in Australia by Henry Kendall

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Grey Winter hath gone like a wearisome guest,
   And, behold, for repayment  
September comes in with the wind of the West,   
   And the Spring in her raiment.  
The ways of the frost have been filled of the flowers,  
   While the forest discovers  
Wild wings with the halo of hyaline hours  
   And a music of lovers.    

September! the maid with the swift silver feet!   
   She glides and she graces
The valleys of coolness, the slopes of the heat,    
   With her blossomy traces.
Sweet month with a mouth that is made of a rose --
   She lightens and lingers
In spots where the harp of the evening glows,
   Attuned by her fingers.

The stream from its home in the hollow hill slips
   In a darling old fashion;
And the day goeth down with a song on its lips,  
   Whose keynote is passion.
Far out in the fierce bitter front of the sea,
   I stand and remember  
Dead things that were brothers and sisters of thee,
   Resplendent September!  

The West when it blows at the fall of the noon,    
   And beats on the beaches,    
Is filled with a tender and tremulous tune
   That touches and teaches:
The stories of youth; of the burden of Time;    
   And the death of devotion,  
Come back with the wind; and are themes of the rhyme  
   In the waves of the ocean.

We, having a secret to others unknown,    
   In the cool mountain-mosses
May whisper together, September, alone
   Of our loves and our losses.  
One word for her beauty and one for the grace
   She gave to the hours,
And then we may kiss her and suffer her face
   To sleep with the flowers.

High places that knew of the gold and the white
   On the forehead of Morning,
Now darken and quake, and the steps of the Night
   Are heavy with warning!
Her voice in the distance is lofty and loud,
   Through the echoing gorges,
She hath hidden her eyes in a mantle of cloud
   And her feet in the surges.

On the tops of the hills -- on the turreted cones --
   Chief temples of thunder!--
The gale like a ghost in the middle watch moans,
   Gliding over and under.   
The sea flying white through the rack and the rain,   
   Leapeth wild at the forelands;
And the plover whose cry is like passion with pain
   Complains in the moorlands.

O season of changes -- of shadow and shine --
   September the splendid!
My song hath no music to mingle with thine,
   And its burden is ended:
But thou, being born of the winds and the sun,
   By mountain, by river;     
May lighten and listen, and loiter and run,
   With thy voices, for ever.

First published in The Sydney Morning Herald, 19 September 1867;
and later in
The Leader, 27 September 1867;
The Australasian, 28 September 1867;
Leaves from Australian Forests by Henry Kendall, 1896;
Poems of Henry Kendall by Henry Kendall, 1886;
A Century of Australian Song edited by Douglas Sladen, 1888;
An Anthology of Australian Verse edited by Bertram Stevens, 1907;
The Golden Treasury of Australian Verse edited by Bertram Stevens, 1909;
The Oxford Book of Australian Verse edited by Walter Murdoch, 1918;
Selection from Australian Poets edited by Bertram Stevens, 1925;
Australian Bush Songs and Ballads edited by Will Lawson, 1944;
Rose Lorraine and Other Poems by Henry Kendall, 1945;
Selected Poems of Henry Kendall by Henry Kendall, 1957;
From the Ballads to Brennan edited by T. Inglis Moore, 1964;
The Poetical Works of Henry Kendall by Henry Kendall, 1966;
Silence Into Song: An Anthology of Australian Verse compiled by Clifford O'Brien, 1968;
A Treasury of Colonial Poetry, 1982;
Cross-Country: A Book of Australian Verse edited by John Barnes and Brian McFarlane, 1984; and
Henry Kendall: Poetry, Prose and Selected Correspondence edited by Michael Ackland, 1993.

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

See also.

A Song for the Spring Time by Charles Harpur

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      The mimosas are blooming,
      For summer is coming,
I felt her warm breath in the forest to-day:
      Where the river is streaming,
      And Nature lies dreaming
Of new love and beauty, come, dearest, away.

      His gentle mate wooing,
      The wood-pigeon's cooing
In the oaks that o'ershadow the path we will take;
      Like music out flowing,
      Come forth, that all glowing
And beautiful things may please more for your sake.

      We will wander, joy drinking,
      Until the sun, sinking,
Shall give the deep west with his glory to blaze;
      When homeward returning,
      With poesy burning,
I'll mint from those splendours a song in your praise.

First published in The Maitland Mercury and Hunter River General Advertiser, 16 September 1843;
and later in
The Weekly Register of Politics, Facts and General Literature, 11 May 1844; and
The Poetical Works of Charles Harpur edited by Elizabeth Perkins, 1984.

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

See also.

September by A. J. Rolfe

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...the tender buds expand,
Emblems of our own great resurrection,
Emblems of the bright and better land.
   --Longfellow.


A golden radiance paints the western sky,
   As slowly sinks the setting sun to rest.
A breath of prayer, like incense, silently
   Floats up and soothes the soul to slumber blest.
And sleep, night's fairest maiden, makes the night
   The Sabbath for the day, while over strife
Peace reigns supreme, though with unconscious might
   Stilling the aching brain with troubles rife.
And as the sun from out the eastern sea
   Rises refreshed to start his work anew,
Or as the shrivelled seed, its bonds set free,
   Springs from the dust a flower of beauteous hue,
So from this land of shadows shall we rise
   To realms unshadowed far beyond the skies.

First published in The Queenslander, 3 September 1892;
and later in:
A Sheaf of Sonnets by A. J. Rolfe, 1892

Note: this poem in the nineth in a sequence of poems that the author wrote about each month of the year.

Author reference sites: Austlit

See also.

Frost Fancies by Alice Ham

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We cannot go to Fairyland, and so
   It comes to us from soundless realms of air,
When elfin fingers of the ice or snow
   Make homeliest things look wondrous strange and fair.

Crystals of emerald and of amethyst
   Transform the violet borders eastward set;
The hills gleam faintly through a silver mist,
   And diamonds flash amongst the mignonette.

Each grass-blade is a knife of pale-green jade
   Sheathed in a scabbard of the clearest glass;
Of Orient pearl the Jonquil cups are made,
   Across the woods half seen white vapours pass.

King Robin Redbreast rules the orchard now,
   His small brown queen his praises chirping shrill;
With scarlet flame he decks the leafless bough
   And shames the gold upon the Daffodil.

And so our childhood's dreams come true at last,
   And airy fairy "castles built in Spain."
The artist of the Frost is fleeting fast;
   But he has brought old fancies back again.

First published in The Queenslander, 27 August 1892

Author reference site: Austlit

See also.

August by A. J. Rolfe

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"Joy shall overtake us as a flood."--MILTON.

Slowly the mists of night are rolled away;
   And with his retinue and pageant bold
The King of Light in glorious array
   Bursts on the waking world all clad with gold.
And at tbe Sun dispels the shades of Night,
   Breaking a glorious entrance through the veil
That separates the darkness from the light,
   Making, by his great presence, Beauty pale,
So when Life's weary night, that dawnless seems,
   Draws to its close, at last thro' shadows drear
A glorious perfectness of heavenly gleams
   Will through our dismal darkness then appear;
And, calmly radiant, joy will reign for aye
When morning breaks and shadows flee away.

First published in The Queenslander, 6 August 1892;
and later in:
A Sheaf of Sonnets by A. J. Rolfe, 1892

Note: this poem in the eighth in a sequence of poems that the author wrote about each month of the year.

Author reference sites: Austlit

See also.

Winterlight by Furnley Maurice (Frank Wilmot)

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Oft have I seen at evening by the lake
   The swans sail past the willow-hooded boat,
Where broken light and spreading ripples make
   A comet-train behind them as they float.

I have absorbed great artistry; song has wrought
   Its magic upon me: often I have come
Out of a trance of passionate reading fraught
   With power of vision to draw the faint hills home.

These and their company take me, magic, immense;
   Yet in the morning equivalent wonders unfold
When the sun pours through the breaks in a paling fence
   To stencil a frosted pavement with jagged gold.

First published in The Bulletin, 29 July 1936

Author: Frank Leslie Thompson Wilmot (1881-1942) was born in Collingwood, Victoria, and left school at 13 to work in E. W. Cole's Book Arcade.  He began writing poetry while still in his teens but struggled to get any accepted by The Bulletin until he submitted under the pseudonym 'Furnley Maurice', a pen-name he continued to use throughout this life.  He rose to the position of manager of the Book Arcade until it closed in 1929.  He later became the first full-time manager of the Melbourne University Press and Bookroom in 1932. He died in Melbourne in 1942.

Author reference sites: Austlit, Australian Dictionary of Biography

See also.

Spring Dirge by Victor J. Daley

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A child came singing, through the dusty town,
   A song so sweet that all men stayed to hear;
   Forgetting, for a space, their ancient fear
Of evil days and death and fortune's frown.

She sang of Winter dead and Spring new-born
  In the green fields beyond the far hills bound;
   And how this fair Spring, coming blossum-crowned,
Would cross the city's threshold on the morn.

And each caged bird in every close anigh,
   En' as she sang, caught up the glad refrain
   Of Hope and Love, fair days come again,
'Till all who heard forgot they had to die.

And all the ghosts of buried woes were laid
   That heard the song of this sweet sorceress;
   The Past grew to a dream of old distress,
And merry were the hearts of man and maid.

So, at the first faint flush of tender dawn
   Spring stole with noiseless steps through the gray gloom,
   And men knew only by a strange perfume
Which filled the air that she had come and gone.

But, ah, the lustre of her violet eyes
   Was dimmed with tears for her sweet singing maid,
   Whose voice would sound no more in shine or shade
To charm men's souls at set of sun or rise.

For there, with dews of dawn upon her hair,
   Like a fair flower plucked and flung away,
   Dead in the street the litte maiden lay
Who gave now life to hearts nigh dead of care.

Alas, must this be still the bitter doom
   Awaiting those, the finer souled of earth,
   Who make for men a morning song of mirth
While yet the birds are dumb amid the gloom?

They walk on thorny ways with feet unshod;
   Sing one last song, and die as that song dies.
   There is no human hand to close their eyes,
And very heavy is the hand of God.

First published
in The Sydney Mail, 22 July 1882;
and then later in
At Dawn and Dusk by Victor J. Daley, 1902.

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

See also.

Autumn Moonlight by Kathleen Dalziel

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A low roof, a sky, and a gold light that showers
   Over a river, patterned with fallen leaves --
These are the things I remember when the sunset flowers
   To colourful flame these lonely autumn leaves.

The crooning of crickets under the orchard trees,
   The cry of an owl haunting the dark scrub's rim;
Moths in the silver grasses, and old memories
   Flitting like moths do in the moonlight dim.

Very desolate under the trees that lean to hide her,
   The old house stands forlorn, and the weeds sprout high
Through the gaping hearthstone, left to the bat and the squatting spider,
   And kindly dews, and the cold, wide sky.

Only the wandering cattle where once the garden grew.
   Only the wattle, hiding the roof tree old,
Only the moon and the stars, peeping the night through
   The panes where the lamp spilt its homely gold.  

Something listening, listening, where none will listen again,
   For a step that never falls where the pathway runs,
Not in any autumn or whispering springtime rain.
   Not in the light of any moons or suns.

A grey roof, a lighted pane, and a starbright dome
   And airs smelling of roses and coming rain,
And these are the things I remember when I remember home,
   And the moths flit under the autumn moon again.

First published in The Brisbane Courier, 19 July 1930

Author reference sites: Austlit

See also.

Winter Dawn by L. H. Allen

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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.

July by A. J. Rolfe

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   Ah! if thy fate, with anguish fraught,
   Should be to wet the dusty soi
   With the hot tears and sweat of toil,
   Remember in that perilous hour,
   When most afflicted and oppressed,
   From labour there shall come forth rest.

                              Longfellow.

The sun has set; over the purple hills
   A golden streak of glory slowly dies;
The rustling leaves and gently flowing rills
   Murmur sweet music to the peaceful skies,
And as the last faint gleam of light departs
   The sentinels of heaven peerless shine;
Oblivion soothes the cares of aching hearts
   That for a respite from their sorrows pine.
O restful night, bear on thy silent wings
   A song to soothe our restless souls with peace;
A peace that in our weary wanderings
   Shall lead us to the Land where sorrows cease.
And let thy gem-like stars, Faith, Hope, and Love,
Shine on our road to perfect rest above.

First published in The Queenslander, 2 July 1892;
and later in:
A Sheaf of Sonnets by A. J. Rolfe, 1892

Note: this poem in the seventh in a sequence of poems that the author wrote about each month of the year.

Author reference sites: Austlit

See also.

On the Arrival of Winter by W. B. Attley

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Yet once more summer days have fled,
A spring matured so soon is dead;
One bright page more of nature's dream
Thus closed for ever on the stream.

So silent gliding to its doom,
To that great ocean and the tomb,
Where swells the bosom of the past
With joys and sorrows -- some the last.

And yet we welcome season's change --
A ghost of summer on the range,
A paler form of golden days,
A silvery time of sunny rays.

Where comforts are, there welcomes roll
To this pale daughter of the pole,
Whose kiss imparting in repose,
To cheeks awake the blushing rose.

Where dainty morsels all aglow
Can brave the falling feahery snow,
and warm, theu hapy hearts renew,
With draughts of breath from morning dew.

But still another phase we see
In cold and want, in misery;
Here hangs the burden of my song,
When days are short, and nights are long.
 
There where mortals feel the blast,
Where winter fills the cup at last;
Where sunny smiles are seen no more,
Since death has cast its shadows o'er.

So weal and woe shall ever flow,
While sun and shadow onward go,
Till breaks the bright eternal day,
When winter's chill shall flee away.

First published in The Australian Town & Country Journal, 24 June 1882

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

Author reference sites: Austlit

Autumn in New South Wales by Douglas B. W. Sladen

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April came in mid the sunshine, but April went out in showers,
   Came neath the sun of your friendship, went through the vain of our tears;
Came in with delicious loungings in balmy afternoon hours,
   Went out on a chilly evening of desolation and fears.

May danced in lovely and fair, but not as she came in the old land
   When she was the crown of spring and the hope of the summertime,
Where her dropping down on the leaves made a green land not a gold land,
   Where she had the youth of the year and not his decaying prime.

Had you been with us autumn would have been a type of reposing,
  A pleasant haven of refuge from the summer's stormy heat;
But when you vanished with April it seemed to us just the closing
   Of the season of brightness and flowers and fruit and ramblings sweet.

We might have wandered together and have heard the oakleaves patter
   Like films of ruddy gold, in the avenue under the hills;
With the rustling under our feet accompanying the chatter
   In a rippling obligato like the tunes of tiny rills.

So might we two have beguiled the autumn away, and thereafter,
   Whene'er the cold-hearted winter had taken the autumn's place,
We might have melted his chill with our warmth of shouting and laughter,
   Sending a glow through the body and summer back to the face.

Spring will come back with the sunshine after winter's storms and showers,
   Perhaps neath sun of your friendship, perhaps through vain of our tears;
But will the delicious loungings in balmy afternoon hours,
   That we had in that golden April, be ours in after years?

First published
in the Australian Town and Country Journal, 9 June 1883

Author reference sites: Austlit, Australian Dictionary of Biography

See also.

June by A. J. Rolfe

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   Like the swell of some sweet tune
   Morning rises into noon,
   May glides onward into June.

                               LONGFELLOW.

Night's gloomy spell is broken, and the light
   Is pale and tender in the waking East;
The sudden sun with splendour sails to sight,
   The wailing night-bird's weary note has ceased.
All, all rejoice as day and life return,
   Bearing a song of gladness to the hearts
Of weary mortals who in patience yearn
   For aught to salve the wounds of Life's fierce darts.
O weary ones, look upward to the Light
   That guides our stumbling footsteps to the bourn
Where care-worn hearts are soothed, and where the night
   Is all unknown amidst eternal morn,
Where life shall spring from death, and joy from pain,
And earthly loss shall be a heavenly gain.

First published
in The Queenslander, 4 June 1892
and later in:
A Sheaf of Sonnets by A. J. Rolfe, 1892

Note: this poem in the sixth in a sequence of poems that the author wrote about each month of the year.

Author reference sites: Austlit

See also.

May, MDCCCXCII by A. J. Rolfe

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The moon and its broken reflection
   And its shadows shall appear
As the symbol of love in heaven,
   And its wavering image here.


Longfellow.

The dying light pales slowly in the west;
   The shadowy silent presence of the night
Is stealing on to still the world's unrest,
   And one by one the myriad stars shine bright,
From her dim realm in calm serenity,
   The goddess of the night with peaceful grace
Lifting her pallid, gleaming shield on high,
   In regal grandeur takes her silent place.
And through the dimness vast, Night seems to say
   In, whispers low, "Fear not my shadow, Death;
For as from earth I bear thy thoughts away
   To dreamland for a space; so when thy wreath
Of life is wrought, cold Death shall close thine eyes
   And bear thee to eternal Paradise."

First published in The Queenslander, 7 May 1892;
and later in:
A Sheaf of Sonnets by A. J. Rolfe, 1892

Note: this poem in the fifth in a sequence of poems that the author wrote about each month of the year.

Author reference sites: Austlit

See also.

A Song of Seasons by A. M. Bowyer-Rosman

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Green and gold on all the land, clouds that fly and follow;
A stray wind, a gay wind that sings in every tree;
Blossomed boughs on every hill, and fern in every hollow,
Sweet of all the Spring-tide, and love for you and me.

Sunny sheen and scent of rose and many a perfumed garland,
A new sky, a blue sky that stretches to the sea;
Deep adown the forest ways a bird calls from a far-land --
Summer's clasp on all the earth, and love for you and me.

Miles of yellow harvest, fruit a-ripe for falling;
A glad song, a mad song of vintagers in glee;
Autumn bringeth treasure trove -- a tiny voice a-calling,
Joy that nestles in your arms, and bliss for you and me.

Cloudy spectres on the hills, rain upon the heather,
A cold Wind, a bold Wind that moans at our roof-tree;
Heap the blazing logs, sweetheart, and laugh at stormy weather --
Winter bringeth nothing but content to you and me.

First published in The Bulletin, 28 April 1904

Author:
Alice Matilda Bowyer Rosman (1857-1931) was born in North Adelaide, South Australia, and lived at Kapunda in South Australia until she was 40. After a few years in Adelaide Alice Rosman moved to London where she lived until her death in 1931.

Author reference site:
Austlit

Spring in Autumn by Zora Cross

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Brown autumn turned to spring to-day;
   The little leaves went wild with play;
And, in and out, an August air
Between the March winds shook its hair
   And stole my heart away.

I left my quiet pansy bed,
   And, nodding to each frail, green head,
"I must go far and far from you,
To purple lakes and mountains blue,
   With young, white spring," I said.

I heard her carol merrily,
   "Ah, come with me to some charmed sea!
I know where richer lands than this
Flush sweeter 'neath the sun's red kiss.
   Come, follow, follow me!"

I ran no further than the creek,
   For there I paused, afraid to speak.
The autumn stillness everywhere
Won back my wild heart unaware
   And made me very meek.
 
I turned and sought my plants again,
   My autumn seedlings drenched with rain,
And sang to drown the voice of spring
That whispered in remembering
   Of other lands in vain.

Brown autumn turned to spring to-day,
   And tried to lure my heart away;
But down among the great, green trees
I heard a rush of memories,
   And could not choose but stay.

First published in The Sydney Mail, 14 April 1920

Author reference sites: AustlitAustralian Dictionary of BiographyOld Qld Poetry

See also.

April by A. J. Rolfe

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The night is past; the morn with flooding light
   Tinges the cloudlets in the cast with gold;
Nature, the minister of God, is bright
   With gladness, as the morning mists unfold.
O Nature, ere Night's shadows blot our view,
   Show us the fulness of thy purity,
That we thy loving footsteps may pursue,
   And bear the burden of humanity;
That when the summit of our life is near,
   And from the mountain brow we see the gloom
Along the downward road, we may not fear
   The darkening path that leads us to our home,
And when at last we cross Death's shadowy sea,
   We shall unravel Life's great mystery.

First published in The Queenslander, 2 April 1892;
and later in:
A Sheaf of Sonnets by A. J. Rolfe, 1892

Note: this poem in the fourth in a sequence of poems that the author wrote about each month of the year.

Author reference sites: Austlit

See also.

Winter Sunshine by C. J. Dennis

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When winter comes 'tis good to sit and dream,
   When summer's quickening heat and joys are done
'Tis well if one should find some kindly beam
   Stealing thro' mists from that once ardent sun.
Dull days hold less of gloom, less of regret,
   And Spring can surely not be far away,
When Winter skies hold out a promise yet
   In one consoling ray.

But when that winter comes that comes at all,
   Life's Winter with no smiling Spring behind,
Surely, whenever kindly sunbeams fall
   These, in the warming rays a place shall find,
While human sympathy still softly gleams,
   And Charity thro' Winter's murk still glows,
Surely a ray shall warm those old, old dreams
   As hopeless Winter goes.

First published in The Herald, 31 March 1930

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

See also.

March - Thoughts at Eventide by A. J. Rolfe

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Epigraph: 'The world is but a rugged road/ Which leads us to the bright abode/ Of peace above.' (Longfellow)

The hours of day are done, and from the sides
   There steals a stillness solemn and serene;
And as a weary war-worn veteran lies
   Freed from his toil, at rest from warfare keen,
Nature exhausted sleeps. And silently   
   The glittering stars send down their pale cold light,
Turning our thoughts towards Eternity,
   Where vulgar passions are unknown as night:
Where gates of pearl are ever open wide,
   And he that overcometh shall receive
Eternal life: where sorrow's rushing tide
   Can never break; where partings cannot grieve;   
And he whose heart by trouble is borne down
Shall for his cross receive a glorious crown.

First published in The Queenslander, 12 March 1892;
and later in:
A Sheaf of Sonnets by A. J. Rolfe, 1892

Note: this poem in the third in a sequence of poems that the author wrote about each month of the year.

Author reference sites: Austlit

See also.

Sunshine, Drought, and Storm by E.H.L

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Far up on the height, in the tropical blaze of the noonday,
   Or 'neath shade of the pines and the solitude born of the air,
Where the white wings of birds and throb-notes of melody beat not
   In the motionless verdure of trees or the heat and the glare.

The motionless verdure of trees on the slope of the hill-side
   Throws a pendulous pall o'er the moss-covered boulder and me;
While the glitter of distant inlet my vision entrances,
   And the glint from the foam-flecked waves on the far-away sea.

Sultry the air; no cool breezes blow soft o'er the mountain,
   But the sheen of a shimmering ocean of crystalline light
Floods the peak and the plain. The wide-spreading forest and scrub-land
   Throb with tremulous poise and a lustre that dazzles the sight.

No sough from the moorland, no hum from the flower seeking bee.
   The moorland sere is afar, the last of the blossoms have fled;
The breath of a fiery December has touched them and dried them,
   Drought comes with heat, and flowers and pasture are withered and dead.

Oppressive the air grows, hazy the hills that bound the horizon;
   Mists veil the sky where glint of the sun on the ocean has been;
Mists change to slow-rising torreted ramparts, bodeful of tempest,
   Girding with vapours the sky and veiling with dimness the scene.

Whisperings come from the she-oak, murmurings soft from the pine-tree;
   Moans from the moorland, wails from dark gorges lurking beneath;
Rushes the wind with its garment of cloud-wrack sable and sombre ---
   Sulphurous mantle of vapour hiding the fire in its sheath.

Whisperings low change to wailing, murmurings deepen to moaning;
   There is swaying of branches, screaming of birds, the sudden splash of the rain;
Quivering gleam of the lightning in fitful and tremulous splendour,
   Rumble and crash of thunder, resounding again and again.

Nearer, still nearer the tumult, closer, still closer the roar;
   Surging the contest, baleful the fires that incessantly light
Lurid recesses of Hell, displacing bright mansions of Heaven,
   Or yawning abysses of darkness wrapt in the mantle of night.

Forth bursts the levin-bolt from the blackness above the pine-tops,
   And the aisles of the forest lament as the brave trees bend to their doom,
Mid the dirge of the blast and the roll of the storm fiend's chariot
   As he speeds on his wreck-strewn path through the maze of the glowering gloom.

Placid, tranquil the woodland, chequered with sunshine and shadow;
   Sweet exhalations from flowers are wafted upon the breeze;
The winds intone a paean, telling of freshness and gladness,
   Blent with the anthems of birds and rhythmical cadence of trees.

Fresh is the verdurous pasture, gladsome the ripple of brooklets,
   Purling and babbling the gentle laughter of waters that lave;
Tokens of plenitude vast pouring from bounteous Earth's bosom,
   Earth, fertile mother of fruits, bright blossoms, and branches that wave.

Such is the season of summer, charged with the storm or the drought,
   Fraught with the fate of flowers, green pastures, and cattle, and man:
Send us, beneficent God, abundant all-comforting showers;
   Grant us, O God, in the drear time of drought, release from Thy ban.

First published in The Queenslander, 7 March 1881

Note: the author of this poem is not known.

Blue Haze by Ruth M. Bedford

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I know what makes that soft blue haze
On summer days --
The fragile veil that hangs between
The hot skies and the fading green,
So magically frail, it seems
All made of dreams.

It is the locusts' piercing song
So sharp, so strong,
That simply tears the air in two,
To little shreds and wisps of blue
That, vaguely floating, make a haze
On summer days.

First published
in The Sydney Morning Herald, 21 February 1925

Author: Ruth Marjory Bedford (1882-1963) was born in Sydney and began writing poetry in her teens.  She was a lifelong friend of fellow poet Dorothea Mackellar, co-authoring two novels with her in the 1910s.  Mainly known as a "children's poet" she published seven collections of her work and wrote several plays.  She died in Sydney in 1963.

Author reference sites: Austlit, Australian Dictionary of Biography

See also.

February by A. J. Rolfe

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Epigraph: 'Lonely and lovely, a single star/ Lights the air with a dusky glimmer.' (Longfellow)

The air is still, and as the golden Morn
   Starts on her Journey, Nature's flowers fair
Waking from sleep, and fields of waving corn
   In serried ranks, give fragrance to the air.
And e'en as murmuring music slowly swells,
   Then louder peals with overwhelming sound,
Falling as slowly as it rose, and tells
   Of joys and sorrows that our lives surround;
So in the morn, from Zephyr's gentle lips
   Breezes are wafted, till the noonday sun
Scorches the plains: then flaming Phoebus dips
   His fiery plumage, when the day is done.   
And in the twilight from the skies afar
In lordly grandeur shines the Evening Star.

First published in The Queenslander, 20 February 1892;
and later in:
A Sheaf of Sonnets by A. J. Rolfe, 1892

Note: this poem in the second in a sequence of poems that the author wrote about each month of the year.

Author reference sites: Austlit

See also.

January by A. J. Rolfe

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Epigraph: 'Beneath each cloud is a silver lining.' (Longfellow)

Over the peaceful earth the early dawn
   With tender tints breaks slowly, and the world
Again begins its toil with waking morn;
   E'en as a stately ship with sails unfurled
Glides from the harbour to the seas' unrest.
   Morning wears on to noontide, and the air
Is calm and still: the Sun God from his breast
   Shoots down his scorching shafts on flowers fair
Till they begin to droop; but soon the sky
   Is overshadowed and the mighty rain
Falls, and the thunders roar relentlessly,
   But early dawn brings peacefulness again.
So after toil and trouble in this life
The "silver lining" calmly ends the strife.

First published in The Queenslander, 30 January 1892;
and later in:
A Sheaf of Sonnets by A. J. Rolfe, 1892

Note: this poem in the first in a sequence of poems that the author wrote about each month of the year.  The rest of the poems will be reprinted by date, as they were first published.

Author: Little is known about this author.  The collection of sonnets mentioned above is the author's only known book.

Author reference sites: Austlit

See also.

January 1916 by Zora Cross

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Leaves of another year bud on the hills;
   Songs of another year sing in our hearts;
Good luck, good cheer, and recompense for ills,
   Each new-born flower some wistful wish imparts.
      
See where the mellow sun sheds golden tears  
   A yellow rosebud nods her smiling head;    
And these tall grasses, like a school of seers,   
   Repeat the prayer the wind so lately said.  

So carolling adown the scented way;
   New life, new resolutions everywhere;  
My spirit bows before the shrine of day,
   Swearing allegiance to a thing so fair.

First published in The Argus, 15 January 1916

Author: Zora Cross (1890-1963)  was born in Brisbane and trained and worked as a primary school teacher before the birth of her first child. She married actor Stuart Smith in 1911 but the marriage was dissolved some 11 years later.  She lived with the author David McKee Wright in a de facto relationship and the couple had two children. A pioneering female poet,  she was very prolific and published 4 collections of her work.  She also wrote a number of novels which were serialised in The Queenslander.

Author reference sites: AustlitAustralian Dictionary of BiographyOld Qld Poetry

See also.

The Grave of the Year by Ione (George J. Macdonald)

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In the spring time of summer, all blooming with life,
   While hope's gayest blossoms look smilingly forth,
When the spirit of storms hath ceased from his strife,
   And the hoar frost lies bound round the ice of the north --
In the pride of earth's verdure, its beauty and all,
   Time stays not his pinions, but with rapid career
Wings in silence his flight, while death's funeral pall
   In a sunbeam is thrown o'er the grave of the year!

As the fall of a giant in the strength of his might,
   Is the death of the year in our southern clime;
In the freshness of life, in the fullness of light,
   It is hurried away by resistless time!
Who would cling to a world that thus passes away --
   Where life's fondest pleasures death can dim with a tear?
For the sun that sets bright on its children to-day
   On the morrow will rise o'er the grave of the year!

Then trust not the smile that in youth glads the brow,
   In the noontide of brightness we may mourn its close;
Soon the eyes of affection their last look may throw
   Ere the cold brow is pillow'd in death's calm repose --
Ere the green sod is laid o'er its mouldering clay,
   Or the flowers of summer lie strewed o'er his bier !
And how many's the one who's thus passing away
   To his last dreary home, like the grave of the year !

But, yet, there's a world where a change is unknown,
   Where summer eternally gladdens the soul,
Where death has no power, where the spirit above
   Tastes "the fullness of joy" that can ne'er feel control:
There for ever the brow with gladness is brighten'd,
   When illum'd by the bliss of that heavenly sphere,
Which the sunbeam of love so immortally's lighten'd,
   That it there ne'er will set on the grave of a year!

First published in The Maitland Mercury and Hunter River General Advertiser, 4 January 1845;
and later in:
Port Philip Patriot, 22 January 1845

Author: George J. Macdonald (1805-51) was born in England and arrived in Sydney in 1826. He appears to have spent the bulk of his adult life in public service.  He died in the Swan Hill area of Victoria but details of his death are unclear.

Author reference sites: Austlit

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