An Australian Cradle Song [poem by John Harrison Wagner, 7 May 1898]

[Editor: A poem published in The Australasian, 7 May 1898.]

An Australian Cradle Song.

By John Harrison Wagner, in “Harper’s Magazine” for April.

Over the hills and far away,
Deep in a shady dell,
The crystal fountains leap and play;
A dream of delight is the livelong day,
Over the hills and far away
In the land where the fairies dwell.

Never a trouble or worldly care
Into the dell may come;
The sweetest flowers breathe perfume rare,
The wattle-tree loosens her golden hair,
And softly floats on the languid air
The wild bee’s drowsy hum.

The tall fern spreads a graceful wing
To shut the light away;
And ever the fountains laugh and sing,
The moss and the maidenhair climb and cling,
And the bell-bird’s note doth sweetly ring,
Like the drip of the silver spray.

Here, when the moon and stars are bright
The fairies dance and sing.
Down thro’ the air each tiny sprite
Floats in a robe of filmy white,
On the smooth greensward the livelong night,
To trip in a mystic ring,

To the music made by the waving tree,
Stirred by the fresh night air,
While the moon looks down and laughs with glee,
And each little star winks merrily;
And it’s oh, ’twere good for an hour to be
With the fairies dancing there.

So hush thee, hush, my baby boy,
Let slumber weave her spell,
And you shall roam till break of day
Where the laughing fountains leap and play,
Over the hills and far away,
In the land where the fairies dwell.

The Australasian (Melbourne, Vic.), 7 May 1898, p. 1031 (27th page of that issue)

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