Bush Scene [poem by John Shaw Neilson]

[Editor: This poem by John Shaw Neilson was published in Heart of Spring (1919) and Collected Poems of John Shaw Neilson (1934); in the latter, it was entitled “Along a River”.]

Bush Scene

Green leaves — a patch of world along a river,
The drab and silver draping every limb,
The cackling kingfisher with throat a-quiver
Eager to sing for us a morning hymn.

By yonder trees the rough red rock hangs over
The black duck’s brood — a little fleet at sea;
In the far sky a wicked foe doth hover;
A plover calls — it is a call for me.

Across the stream, slowly and with much shrinking
Softly a full-eyed wallaby descends
To the blue water’s edge . . . I see him drinking . . .
And he and I and all his folk are friends.

Shaw Neilson , Heart of Spring, The Bookfellow, Sydney, 1919, page 18

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