Vonda Stanley's collection of early Australian bush poems



There is music in the Mallee,

Lilting music, soft and low,

Like the songs in vale and valley

Where the summer waters flow;

But an anthem of elation

Wedded to a womanís mouth

Is the message from each station

From the Mitchell River south.


For itís raining! raining! raining!

How the iron roof tops ring!

How the waters, swiftly draining

Through the straining down pipes sing!

Every drop a golden rhyme is,

Every shower a stanza strong,

And each day of raining time is

Canto sweet of Godís great song.


Oh, the earth was dry as tinder,

And her lips were cracked with pain!

From the south to Thargominda

Like a dead thing she has lain;

But, at last, the long drought broken,

She - like lazarus, the Jew,

When the Christ words had been spoken -

She shall leap to life anew.


For itís raining! raining! raining!

Donít you hear the merry din?

Donít you hear the old earth straining

As she sucks the juices in?

And the swelling creeks and rivers -

Hark! their mellow madrigal!

Oh, the sweetest music givers

Are the autumn rains that fall!


All the air is sweet with voices,

Sweet with human voices now;

And the anvil-tool rejoices

On the ploughshare and the plough;

Yes, above the joyous beating

Of the roof bass you can hear

All the choirs of nature meeting

In an anthem loud and clear.


For itís raining! raining! raining!

Over all the thirsty land!

Donít you hear the old earth straining

As the sapless roots expand?

But her famine days are over,

And her smiles shall soon be seen,

For her old-time Autumn lover

Brings her back her garb of green.


 E. S. Emmerson

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