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.
 
18. 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,        5
Insatiable Summer oppresses
Sere woodlands and sad wildernesses
  And faint flocks and herds.
 
Where in dreariest days, when all dews end,
  And all winds are warm,        10
Wild Winter’s large flood-gates are loosened,
  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,        15
  Song shaped without form.
 
Whence gathered?—The locust’s glad chirrup
  May furnish a stave;
The ring of a rowel and stirrup,
  The wash of a wave;        20
The chant of the marsh-frog in rushes,
That chimes through the pauses and hushes
Of nightfall, the torrent that gushes,
  The tempests that rave.
 
In the deepening of dawn, when it dapples        25
  The dusk of the sky,
With streaks like the reddening of apples,
  The ripening of rye,
To eastward, when cluster by cluster,
Dim stars and dull planets that muster,        30
Wax wan in a world of white lustre
  That spreads far and high;
 
In the gathering of night-gloom o’erhead, in
  The still silent change,
All fire-flushed when forest trees redden        35
  On slopes of the range;
When the gnarled, knotted trunks Eucalyptian
Seem carved like weird columns Egyptain,
With curious device, quaint inscription,
  And hieroglyph strange;        40
 
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 sky-line’s blue burnished resistance        45
Makes deeper the dreamiest distance,—
Some song in all hearts hath existence,—
  Such songs have been mine.
 

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