Charles Harpur Poems
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A Midsummer Noon In The Australian Forest
A MIDSUMMER NOON IN THE AUSTRALIAN FOREST
Not a bird disturbs the air!
There is quiet everywhere;
Over plains and over woods
What a mighty stillness broods.
Even the grasshoppers keep
[All the birds and insects keep]
Where the coolest shadows sleep;
Even the busy ants are found
Resting in their pebbled mound;
Even the locust clingeth now
In silence to the barky bough:
And over hills and over plains
Quiet, vast and slumbrous, reigns.
Only there's a drowsy humming
From yon warm lagoon slow coming:
'Tis the dragon-hornet ...
A man of sorrows and with grief acquainted,
He bowed His beauteous head to the rude hands
Of Pilate’s hireling bands;
And while beneath their cruel scourge He fainted,
Forgave them, yearning through His shameful smart
Even with a brother’s heart.
And when upon their Roman cross they nailed Him,
With mocking hatred and scorn’s bitter smile,
Hark! How He prayed, the while