I remember the plain where the lime trees grew,
And the grey of the twilight rest,
And the sun's red couch in the fading blue
When he pillows across the west.
Then life, I had stopped but a pace with you
In sight of the homing nest.
I remember the boughs had tales for me,
And the flowers a mystic singing,
As though 'twas some pixie minstrelry
Where the fancy sprites go winging.
I remember the weeds in the lagoon
That twined like a sea babe's swathing,
And the watchful eyes of the mother-moon
When the moonrays went a-bathing.
I remember the scrub with sighing tunes
Where loves of the trees made story,
And low in the waning of afternoons
A wattle in crested glory.
I remember the bush fire's orange light,
To flicker of stars replying,
And its ragged leap on the loom of night,
And its slow and jewelled dying.
I remember the scent of scorching leaves,
The black of the burned earth's gowning,
And the acrid scent where the flame wind grieves
Thro' dusk of the sheaoks crowning.
I had gained the rim of the stream of life,
Had trodden the sodden edges,
And the will-o'-the-wisps of Hope were rife
In reeds by the wave-lipped edges.
And my boat danced out to uncharted seas,
A wave o'er the green past folding,
And the oars of toil beat back calls like these --
But the tails of youth in the songs of trees
The strings of my heart are holding!
First published in The Sunday Times, 19 June 1910