Wilson was born in 1848 at Greenvale, Victoria, the daughter of Robert Adams. In 1874, she married James Wilson and went to New Zealand. Her husband, a well-known public man, was knighted in 1915. Her first book of poems, Themes and Variations, came out in London in 1889 and was followed by a novel, Alice Lauder, a Sketch, in 1893. Another novel, Two Summers published by Harper in 1900, was later included in Macmillan's colonial library. In 1901 A Book of Verses was published (new and slightly enlarged edition, 1917), a collection of her poems from English, American and Australian magazines. Her husband died in 1929 leaving her with two sons and two daughters. Lady Wilson died in New Zealand and is buried in the Clifton Cemetery at Bulls. Some of her poems are included in several Australian and New Zealand anthologies.
‘COME, before the summer passes
Let us seek the mountain land:’
So they called me, happy playmates,
And we left the dawn-lit strand:
Riding on till later sunbeams slanted
On dark hills and downward-plunging streams,
And the solemn forest softly chanted
Old, old dreams.
From the pass, we saw in glory
Wave on purple wave unrolled
To the cloud-encircled summit
Floating high, alone and cold:
Like that altar-stone, by men of Athens
Dedicated to the unknown God;
Waiting for some fire to touch his holy
Then the mellow sunset dying
Passed in rosy fire away,
And the stars and planets journeyed
On their ancient unknown way.
Riders of the illimitable heaven!
Moving on so far beyond our ken,
Do ye scorn the toiling, heavy-hearted
Sons of men?
Ere we slept we heard the torrents
Rushing from that mighty hill
Join in deep melodious singing,
While the forest-land was still.
Music of forgotten wildernesses!
Would that I could hear that song again!
Song of primal Earth’s enchanted sweetness,
Joy and pain.