Clarence Michael James Stanislaus Dennis
Country Towns - Boort - Poem by Clarence Michael James Stanislaus Dennis
She knows the Mallee's tragedy
Of thwarted hope, of pain,
Of promise wrecked, when weak men flee
And strong men pray in vain;
While day on burning day drifts by
Beneath a brazen, cloudless sky.
She knows the bane of Mallee dust
When Mallee droughts come down
To filch the last of lingering trust
And darken her small town
Darken men's hearts and minds until
Nought serves her, save a stubborn will.
All this she knows. Yet she knows, too
On thro' the tale of years
The changing luck of gamblers, who
Undaunted, scorning fears
Strive on, till fickle fortune rains
A wondrous gift of sudden gains.
And then she knows that mystic thing
Her jealous earth concealed
The glory of a Mallee spring
And many a fruitful yield
Of green corn quickened by sweet showers,
And kine that flatten mid the flowers.
So has she lived beside her lake
The good and bad years thro';
Till man-made streams now flow to slake
Her thirsty earth anew,
And man's unconquered will has planned
New life for this unstable land.
And who shall say no day may dawn
When, from the Mallee's soil
Drought's fingers are at last withdrawn,
Seeking no more their spoil;
And, man and Nature in accord,
Win, year by year, toll's meet reward
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