Vonda Stanley's collection of early Australian bush poems



God be praised; ‘tis the rain;

Don’t you hear it on the pane?

Hear the music of its clatter

Of the big drops’ joyous clatter

On the tin roof? Hope has come to life again.


Out of doors; ‘tis the rain;

Head uncovered I would fain

Feel the warm showers’ sweet caressing

Soft descending like a blessing,

While a thousand blessings follow in its train.


O the rain; welcome rain!

After labour nearly vain;

For it seemed a hopeless battle

Fighting hard for sheep and cattle

As we watched the dry grass wither from the plain.


O the rain; welcome rain!

Was there ever a refrain

Like the elfin music thrilling

While the dusty tanks are filling

And the waterpipes are swishing down amain?


See the sunshine after rain

Sweeps the mist from heart and brain;

And the sound of merry laughter

Is the harvest that comes after

All the weary time of waiting for the grain.


God be thanked for the rain;

Far from us the creed inane -

That man’s destiny a piece is

Of blind nature’s strange caprices,

And the heavens are as brass to human pain.


E’en our souls need the rain;

And our arid senses crane

After Grace’s soaking showers,

To refresh our drooping powers,

And bring spring-time with the flowers back again.

 Maurice O’Reilly

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