Daughter of the North [poem by E. J. Brady]

[Editor: This poem by E. J. Brady was published in Bells and Hobbles (1911).]

Daughter of the North.

’Tis pleasant where the Harbor meets
These Southern waters blue;
There’s joy of life in Melbourne streets,
From Carlton unto Kew.

Fair Adelaide, beneath her hills,
In gracious splendor gleams;
And Perth with younger vigor fills
The morning of her dreams.

True hearts Australian unto each
Beat loyally and fond;
Their rival claims as cities reach
Out, over, and beyond.

But, Daughter of the North, whose eyes
Of trustful, tender brown,
Are aching for the cloudless skies
Above your native town,

Full well I know that, far away,
In day-dreams once again,
You see the tall maize nod and sway,
And hear the rustling cane.

The “silky oaks” are crowned with gold;
All purple lies the pave,
In Northern springtime where the bold,
Bare jacarandas wave;

And o’er the river flats the bees,
From out the lucerne flow’rs
Are freighting on winged argosies
Sweet plunder thro’ the hours.

The dairy herds above their knees
In long, swamp grasses laze;
Or chew a clover cud at ease
Through warm September days.

From Copmanhurst to Yamba bar,
Through all the tilth between;
From Chatsworth out to Yugilbar
The Earth is garden green.

Beloved of the North, once more
That symphony I hear —
The sunlit rollers to the shore
Sang in the morning clear.

Your crow-black hair was wet with spray,
As fresh from far Japan
A young Nor’-Easter called the Day
On all the pipes of Pan.

Impassioned, by a summer sea
That wooed a tropic strand,
We drained our cup of ecstasy —
Your hand within my hand.

Yes, pleasant is this Harbor fair —
But oh, dear heart of mine
What glory where the jungles wear
Their virgin robes of vine!

What glamor o’er each islet green,
The river, rich with farms,
Is holding, like a conquered queen,
Within her lover’s arms.

What hyacinthine hours we shared
Beside the Clarence clear,
Whose water-lilies only heard
The olden story, dear.

Some night mayhap, when Fortune’s boon
Has lent a golden ray,
We’ll meet in jest beneath the moon
And walk the lovers’ way.

The wind will whisper in the maize;
And at our trysting tree,
To bring us back remembered days,
You’ll wait again for me.

Long, anxious years have sped between,
Since first our trysts began;
But you are still my Northern Queen,
And I your Southern man.

Nor toil, nor care, nor age can dim
The sunlight of the Past,
When he with her, and she with him,
Keeps covenant at last.

Aye, all the fruits first passion bore
Shall from that Past come forth,
And we will lovers be, once more
Enraptured in the North.

E. J. Brady, Bells and Hobbles, Melbourne: George Robertson & Co., 1911, pp. 129-132

Editor’s notes:
bar = a sandbar, i.e. a long narrow sandbank (a ridge of sand below the surface of the water), which has been built up by the movement of currents, especially found in coastal waters or at the mouth of a river or harbour

flow’r = (vernacular) flower

lucerne = a leguminous forage plant with trifoliate leaves and blue-violet flowers grown widely as a pasture and hay crop; alfalfa

maize = a cereal plant (Zea mays), also known as “corn”

mayhap = (archaic) perhaps; perchance; possibly

o’er = (archaic) over (pronounced the same as “oar”, “or”, and “ore”)

Pan = = in Greek mythology, Pan was the god of shepherds, hunting, and music

thro’ = (vernacular) through

’tis = (archaic) a contraction of “it is”

Yamba bar = a sandbar located at the mouth of the Clarence River, on the coast of New South Wales

Yugilbar = Yugilbar station, a property on the Clarence River (New South Wales), located north-east of Collum Collum and south-west of Malabugilmah; the property was developed by Edward Ogilvie (1814-1896), a member of the Legislative Council of NSW

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