Comet and the Mountain Kangaroo [poem by Rex Ingamells]

[Editor: This poem by Rex Ingamells was published in Gumtops (1935).]

Comet and the Mountain Kangaroo

The Mountain Kangaroo,
In the night-time dim and cool,
Comes down from the hills to the plain,
To the lone rock pool.

As tall is Comet, as strong,
As the Mountain Kangaroo,
And as secret on the hunt
As settles the early dew.

When he leads the warriors forth
Over the plains ere dawn,
To the Mountain Kangaroo
No boding of ill is borne
On the winds that blow from the northward
Or the winds that blow from the south,
For the warriors come in the leaward,
And he drinks with untroubled mouth.

Comet throws out the circle . . . .
At his command
The warriors of the Lorichas
Move, or moveless stand.

Before the first star pales
Its red fire or its white,
The Mountain Kangaroo
Is being trapped in the whispering night;
He peers about in the gloom,
But sees only dark trees there,
Without a quiver to show
They are men with leaves in their hair.

The circle is dosed around him;
Then the Mountain Kangaroo
Sniffs — and leaps to pass the trees,
But they will not let him through;
For Comet stands there with his spear,
Tense, and ready to throw,
And the Mountain Kangaroo
Falls at the piercing blow.



Source:
Rex Ingamells. Gumtops, F. W. Preece & Sons, Adelaide, 1935, pages 15-16

Editor’s notes:
leaward = [also spelt “leeward”] the lee side of a ship or other vessel (the point or quarter towards which the wind blows on a ship); or, in a wider context, away from the wind, so that those travelling in a leeward direction will have the wind at their backs (distinct from “windward”, regarding the windward or weather side of a ship or other vessel; or, in a wider context, towards the wind)

Lorichas = the Loricha were an Aboriginal tribe

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