The Golden Whistler [poem by C. J. Dennis]

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

The Golden Whistler

Golden bird whose golden voice,
When the summer days wax long —
Cheery optimist from choice —
Bids the feathered world rejoice
With full many a varied song
From the tree-tops flinging free
Golden bursts of melody.

Golden notes for golden hours —
Where the sunlit waters gleam,
And the fragrant wattle flow’rs
Swoon in scented, golden show’rs
To the bosom of the stream
Singing, swinging, fluting high;
None so gay, so glad as I.

Golden in the dawn’s first hush
Sounds my matin, loud and long,
With a sweet, spontaneous rush,
Vying with harmonious thrush
For the bushland’s crown of song.
As the golden eve grows dim,
Sounds my joyous vesper hymn.

Golden minstrel, justly famed,
Greeted e’er with grateful words;
Long ere this my song has shamed
Him who fatuously named
This a land of songless birds.
Seek you solace; seek you balm;
Hearken to my golden psalm.

C. J. Dennis, The Singing Garden, Sydney: Angus & Robertson, 1935, pages 87-88

Editor’s notes:
e’er = — ever

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

gay = happy, joyous, carefree (may also mean well-decorated, bright, attractive) (in modern times it may especially refer to a homosexual, especially a male homosexual; may also refer to something which is no good, pathetic, useless)

vesper = (archaic) evening, eventide (may also refer to vespers: prayers which are said or sung in the evening; evening worship; also, Vesper may be a reference to the planet Venus appearing in the sky as “the evening star”)

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