The Bushland Call [poem by E. J. Brady]

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

The Bushland Call.

To-night, dear heart, I hear the Call,
The Call that never leaves me.
The old Bush lullabies and all
The song that glads, yet grieves me.

In bitter joy, in pleasant woe,
The wanderlust doth find me.
To stay I dare not, still to go —
With all thy charms to bind me!

Last night, beneath the silent stars,
Your voice compelled, enthralled me;
To-night a Voice across the bars
From seaward places called me.

Low in my ears the Deep Seas croon:
“Away! ere Fate defy thee!
The Waters silver with the moon
Shall golden tresses tie thee?

“Shall witching lips and throat of white
For evermore proclaim you
A recreant to old delight,
Of open ways that claim you?”

Dear Love of mine, your breath is sweet
As wild red briar roses —
But, oh! the sward beneath the feet,
When Night in Bushland closes!

Dear Heart of mine, if it should be
That your fond charms prove stronger,
What will the Voices say to me
As Summer days grow longer?

Were it not best while Love is young
To break the chain enthralling?
For, oh! the Song the Waters sung!
And, oh! my Bushland calling!

E. J. Brady, Bells and Hobbles, Melbourne: George Robertson & Co., 1911, pp. 158-159

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

doth = (archaic) does

ere = (archaic) before (from the Middle English “er”, itself from the Old English “aer”, meaning early or soon)

glads = (archaic) gladden (to make glad; to become glad, happy, joyful, pleased)

recreant = unfaithful to one’s beliefs, duties, honour, a person, an allegiance, or a cause; apostate, deserter; having admitted defeat, given up, surrendered; disloyal, false; a coward; cowardly, craven, faint-hearted, crying for mercy

sward = a lawn or meadow; land covered with grass

thee = (archaic) you

thy = (archaic) your

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