A Dedication

by Adam Lindsay Gordon

They are rhymes rudely strung with intent less

Of sound than of words,

In lands where bright blossoms are scentless,

And songless bright birds;

Where, with fire and fierce drought on her tresses,

Insatiable Summer oppresses

Sere woodlands and sad wildernesses,

And faint flocks and herds.

Where in drieariest days, when all dews end,

And all winds are warm,

Wild Winter’s large floodgates are loosen’d,

And floods, freed by storm;

From broken-up fountain heads, dash on

Dry deserts with long pent up passion–

Here rhyme was first framed without fashion,

Song shaped without form.

Whence gather’d?–The locust’s glad chirrup

May furnish a stave;

The ring os rowel and stirrup,

The wash of a wave.

The chauntof a marsh frog in rushes

That chimes through the pauses and hushes

Of nightfall, the torrent that gushes,

The tempests that rave.

In the deep’ning of dawn, when it dapples

The dusk of the sky,

With streaks like the redd’ning of apples,

The ripening of rye.

To eastward, when cluster by cluster,

Dim stars and dull planets, that muster,

Wax wan in a world of white lustre

That spreads far and high.

In the gathering of night gloom o’er head, in

The still silent change,

All fire-flush’d when forest trees redden

On slopes of the range.

When the gnarl’d knotted trunks Eucalyptian

Seemed carved like weird columns Egyptian

With curious device–quaint inscription,

And heiroglyph strange.

In the Spring, when the wattle gold trembles

‘Twixt shadow and shine,

When each dew-laden air draught resembles

A long draught of wine;

When the skyline’s blue burnished resistance

Makes deeper the dreamiest distance,

Some song in all hearts hath existence,–

Such songs have been mine.


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