Verse > Anthologies > Walter Murdoch, comp. > The Oxford Book of Australasian Verse
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Walter Murdoch (1874–1970).  The Oxford Book of Australasian Verse.  1918.
 
151. To Sydney
 
By Louise Mack
 
 
CITY, I never told you yet—
  O little City, let me tell—
A secret woven of your wiles,
  Dear City with the angel face,
  And you will hear with frowning grace,        5
Or will you break in summer smiles?
 
This is the secret, little town,
  Lying so lightly towards the sea;
City, my secret has no art,
  Dear City with the golden door;        10
  But oh, the whispers I would pour
Into your ears—into your heart!
 
You are my lover, little place,
  Lying so sweetly all alone.
And yet I cannot, cannot tell        15
  My secret, for the voice will break
  That tries to tell of all the ache
Of this poor heart beneath your spell.
 
Dreaming, I tell you all my tale;
  Tell how the tides that wash your feet        20
Sink through my heart and cut its cords.
  Dreaming, I hold my arms, and drag
  All, all into my heart—the flag
On the low hill turned harbourwards,
 
And all the curving little bays,        25
  The hot, dust-ridden, narrow streets,
The languid turquoise of the sky,
  The gardens flowing to the wave,
  I drag them in. O City, save
The grave for me where I must lie.        30
 
Yet humbly I would try to build
  Stone upon stone for this town’s sake;
Humbly would try for you to aid
  Those whose wise love for you will rear
  White monuments far off and near,        35
White, but unsoiled, undesecrate.
 

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