George Gordon McCrae
The Silence of the Bush
There’s that in our lone Bush, I know not what,
Which ’genders silence; I’ve all that to learn.
Here, there and everywhere, to loose the knot
That binds the sheaf-band of the taciturn;
It may be where it freezes; where ’tis hot,
Or streams lie silent in the nymph’s cool urn;
In forest depths, or where the lone plain stretches
Sans other roof than sky, o’er heat-worn wretches.
Or ’mid the gully’s fern and sassafras,
Where all is cool green glooms and early dusk,
With silvern foliage in delicious mass
As, sunwards, feel their way the spires of musk;
Or where those solemn branches crossing, pass
And wave o’er-head their pennon’d fragrant husk;
Or by the river’s marge or broad gumbower
With lily-pads a-swim and floating flower.
Here might one read the Silence of Fatigue,
And here again of Rest and Admiration.
Where gentle hands are clasped in wordless league,
And eyes meet eyes in eloquent oration,
Or fingers wreathed, accomplish mute intrigue,
Or tell by signs of ardent adoration,
Or past all these, ’neath burning rocks and bare,
The deep and death-like Silence of Despair.
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