Promise of Spring
Spring surely must be near. High overhead
The kind blue heavens bend to timbers tall;
And here, this morning, is the picture spread
That I have learned to love the best of all.
I hear flame robin call
His early love-song. Winter’s might is sped;
And young crowns now begin to fleck with red
This great green, living wall.
Picture of promise, that I count the best
Of many a fair familiar bushland scene;
Lifting o’er all, the far mount’s sunlit crest
Looks down where silver wattles lightly screen
Blue smoke, that peeps between
Their tall tops, from some settler’s hidden nest —
Looks down on golden wattles closely pressed
To blackwood’s luscious green.
Before the dovecote, mirrored in the pond,
A veil diaphanous of drifting mist
Makes many a nimbus for great gums beyond
Whose gaunt, grey limbs a mounting sun has kissed
To palest amethyst.
Now, stepping very daintily, with fond,
Soft cooings, fantails on the lawn respond,
To Spring, the amorist.
Above the pool the swallows drift and dip
And circle on, to trail bright crystal showers.
Blue wren and peewit dance about its lip,
Pausing a while to test their choral powers.
And now, a hint of flowers
Peeps forth, where lupins, in close fellowship
With musk and maple, risk a tender tip
In quest of sunlit hours.
From the deep forest, on the clean crisp air,
The bushman’s axe-blows echo sharply clear;
A soft cloud’s tattered fleece drifts idly where
Glows azure hope. Impatient to appear,
Springs now full many a spear
Of marching daffodils. Shorn of cold care,
The joyous bush birds vie with flutings rare.
Spring surely must be near.
C. J. Dennis, The Singing Garden, Sydney: Angus & Robertson, 1935, pages 181-182
amethyst = a purplish tint or moderately purple (from amethyst, the purple or violet transparent quartz used as a gemstone)
azure = the blue of a clear unclouded sky
gum = gum tree (many, but not all, species of the genus Eucalyptus are known as gum trees)
o’er = over (pronounced the same as “oar”, “or”, and “ore”)