Vonda Stanley's collection of early Australian bush poems


I know a valley--  through its solitude

A brown road winds towards a mountain crest;

There gnarly ti-trees dripping sweetness rest,

And grasses bend, too heavily bedowed.

In that still valley by the still lagoon,

A ruined homestead for her secret shrine,

Dwells Beauty's self, half-earthly, half-devine--

Thrilling, I saw her waken to the moon.

In peaks of emerald the cactus crept,

And there o'er rafters falling to decay,

A miracle of flowers, spray on spray,

Burst into perfect life while nature slept.

First a slim silver riband from the sky

Uncurled green fronds from each imprisoned bud,

Then, one by one, bathed in the beaming flood,

Like ghost-notes in a spirit litany.

They blossomed out before my eyes,

Great chalices of snow filled up with light;

Set in the mystic radiance of night

They seemed a vision from immortal skies.

Hidden in shadow near the still lagoon

Nightly I worship at a secret shrine,

There on a ruin-- lily-white, devine,

Is beauty lying naked to the moon!

Lala Fisher.


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