The Sermon of the Birds
I was clearing thirty or forty acres once
Out in the western range near Nightcap Mountain.
And as I was working, I heard a gathering of the crows
Singing out in a jungle gully. Their clamorous cries
Drawed the attention of all the other birds.
Jackass and butcher-bird, soldier-bird, sparrow-bird,
Scrub-robin, magpie, and the black and white cockatoo,
They all flew down to the crows in the jungle-gully.
And I followed after their clamour, and in the midst
Of all the splendid excitement of the birds
I heard one feller was singing above them all.
It was the lyre-bird, the mimic of all the scrub,
And they held this beautiful sermon or half an hour.
The birds would stop and listen a while but still
That beautiful voice, the lyre-bird, would keep on singing
And draw then and join them all to a chorus again.
And as I stood there and listened, the Scriptures was
Hitting me all the time. The sermon seemed
Like the prophecy when Christ shall come and summon
The birds, the valleys, the hills, the mountains and the ocean
To sing in praise of the grace and the reckoning day,
And the beauty of earth in the splendour that He crated.
And I went back and told my people of what I had seen,
And the sermon of praise I heard in the mountain range.
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