From the Bush [poem, 12 September 1896]

[Editor: A poem published in The Free Lance, 12 September 1896.]

From the Bush.

For the Free Lance.

Alone in the bush, my thoughts and I,
’Neath a blusterous wind and a leaden sky,
Fit comrades to join in revelry high,
Alone in the bush.

Did I follow the track, to custom wed,
I would tell how I ponder with aching head
On a mis-spent life and the days that are dead,
Alone in the bush.

But I fear I reck little of days gone by,
For I think of my girl in town with a sigh,
And wonder what pranks she is playing, while I
Am alone in the bush.

Perhaps (?) she is writing (she’s finished her tea,
And the blotting-pad’s propped on her dear little knee)
To tell me how much she is thinking of me
Alone in the bush.

’Tis her daintiest wrapper I see she has donned,
The lamp’s shining full on her wee head so blonde,
And she’s penning a message both tender and fond
To me in the bush.

’Tis a sweet little picture! I wonder is’t true?
If it were so to-night, ’twould not be the week through,
And I should like to know what on earth she does do,
While I’m in the bush.

I’ve a dream of a stall at the play with a “boy,”
And a kiss in the dark from her lips sweet and coy,
While she’s thanking her stars, with a heartfelt joy,
That I’m in the bush.

Away with such visions! My maxim is this,
That since not to know is the greatest of bliss,
I’ll just make up my mind that she’s storing each kiss
For me in the bush.


The Free Lance (Melbourne, Vic.), 12 September 1896, p. 11

Also published in:
The Worker (Brisbane, Qld.), 22 July 1899, p. 7

Editor’s notes:
The question mark in brackets, (?), is in the original text.

reck = to have a care or pay heed to something

wee = little, very small, diminutive (can also mean: very early, e.g. “the wee hours of the morning”)

Old spelling in the original text:
is’t (is it)
’neath (beneath)
’tis (it is)
’twould (it would)

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