'TIS a tarnished book and old,
Edges frayed and covers green!
But, between the covers, gold —
I SAID 'The dark deed matters nought,
And this green gown becomes her well;
For phrase and rhyme oft hide the thought,
'THIS is the room where Pinksie died';
So runs the writing there on the wall.
The world outside is a golden tide
WITH the sorrow on me
Neighbours come and go —
Think me vain and foolish
Nursing up my woe.
With the grief-blade in me
BANNISTER, who lived for gain,
Counting love and mateship weak,
Bannister of Coolah Creek
Once, and once alone, 'tis said,
I took a boat on a starry night
and went for a row on the water,
and she danced like a child on a wake of light
and bowed where the ripples caught her.
All the heights of the high shores gleam
Red and gold at the sunset hour:
There comes the spell of a magic dream,
And the Harbour seems a lotus-flower;
WE lit a fire, and straightway camped,
And all night long
We heard the river sing its song.
Our horses fed, and neighed, and stamped;
WHEN the tide came surging in
To the beach it bore
Drift-wood and brown weeds —
These — and nothing more!
THE long still day is ending
In hollow and on height,
The lighthouse seaward sending