Indian Summer [poem by C. J. Dennis]

[Editor: This poem by C. J. Dennis was published in The Singing Garden (1935).]

Indian Summer

Winter had come to frown a little while,
And bluster from his skies of sodden grey,
Until bland Autumn, with a cheerful smile,
Chased him into the dark hills far away;
Returning then to stay
Where singing birds the silver dawns beguile
And sunsets burn down an illumined aisle
Day after golden day.

Now comes a season of surprised delight.
The alien trees, now loath to lose their leaves,
Strive yet to hold their yellow treasure tight.
Shy swallows twitter by the sun-bathed eaves
And, while sly Autumn thieves
Yet more of Winter’s days, postpone their flight.
Birds hymn the day; but thro’ the windless night
A gloomy mopoke grieves.

Under the azure noon the forest sleeps
Drugged by this sudden and unlooked-for balm.
Up from her lowly bed a primrose peeps,
Tempted too soon by hours of spring-like calm
Spilled from a lavish palm.
And now, from where the hill-stream laughs and leaps,
The thrush’s evensong, as slow dusk creeps,
Lifts like a grateful psalm.

C. J. Dennis, The Singing Garden, Sydney: Angus & Robertson, 1935, pages 112-113

Editor’s notes:
azure = the blue of a clear unclouded sky

loath = reluctant or unwilling (as distinct from “loathe”, being to detest or hate)

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