Hist! [poem by C. J. Dennis]

[Editor: This poem by C. J. Dennis was published in A Book for Kids, 1921.]

Hist!

Hist! . . . . . . . Hark!
The night is very dark,
And we’ve to go a mile or so
Across the Possum Park.
Step . . . . . . . light,
Keeping to the right;
If we delay, and lose our way,
We’ll be out half the night.
The clouds are low and gloomy. Oh!
It’s just begun to mist!
We haven’t any overcoats
And — Hist! . . . . . . . Hist!

(Mo . . . . . . . poke!)
Who was that that spoke?
This is not a fitting spot
To make a silly joke.
Dear . . . . . . . me!
A mopoke in a tree!
It jarred me so, I didn’t know
Whatever it could be.
But come along; creep along;
Soon we shall be missed.
They’ll get a scare and wonder where
We — Hush! . . . . . Hist!

Ssh! . . . . . . . . . Soft!
I’ve told you oft and oft
We should not stray so far away
Without a moon aloft.
Oo! . . . . . . . Scat!
Goodness! What was that?
Upon my word, it’s quite absurd,
It’s only just a cat.
But come along; haste along;
Soon we’ll have to rush,
Or we’ll be late, and find the gate
Is — Hist! . . . . . . Hush!

(Kok! . . . . . Korrock!)
Oh! I’ve had a shock!
I hope and trust it’s only just
A frog behind a rock.
Shoo! . . . . . . . Shoo!
We’ve had enough of you;
Scaring folk just for a joke
Is not the thing to do.
But come along, slip along —
Isn’t it a lark
Just to roam so far from home
On — Hist! . . . . . Hark!

Look! . . . . . . . See!
Shining through the tree,
The window-light is glowing bright
To welcome you and me.
Shout! . . . . . . . Shout!
There’s someone round about,
And through the door I see some more
And supper all laid out.

Now, run! Run! Run! . . .
Oh, we’ve had such splendid fun —
Through the park in the dark,
As brave as anyone.
Laughed, we did, and chaffed, we did,
And whistled all the way,
And we’re home again! Home again!
Hip . . . . . . Hooray!



Source:
C. J. Dennis. A Book for Kids, Angus & Robertson, Sydney, [1921], pages 60-63

Editor’s notes:
mopoke = a small brown owl, the Southern Boobook (Ninox novaeseelandiae), also known as the Tasmanian spotted owl (on a related note, the Tawny Frogmouth is often mistaken for an owl, and is called a “mopoke” by some Australians)

Comments

  1. i am in year 5 and i am learning this poem

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