The King Parrot [poem by C. J. Dennis]

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

The King Parrot

When the wattle curls are browning,
When the blackwood’s bloom is done,
When the gloom of Winter’s frowning
Flees before the waxing sun,
When the forest’s tears have ended,
Regally arrayed and splendid,
Come I, like a gem afloat,
In my royal scarlet trousers
And my green tail-coat.

Few among the singing gentry
Note my royal presence there;
Quietly I make my entry
With an unassuming air;
Till, on some hot noon-day dreaming
’Mid the ripening grasses gleaming,
With surprised delight you note
My official scarlet trousers
And my green tail-coat.

When the royal feast is over —
Kingly fare in bounty spread
’Mid the cocksfoot and the clover —
I would seek the royal bed,
Then, my retinue attending,
Thro’ the gums I flash, ascending
To my trumpet’s piercing note,
In my gorgeous scarlet trousers
And my green tail-coat.

C. J. Dennis, The Singing Garden, Sydney: Angus & Robertson, 1935, pages 49-50

Editor’s notes:
gum = gum tree (many, but not all, species of the genus Eucalyptus are known as gum trees)

’mid = an abbreviation of “amid” or “amidst”: of or in the middle of an area, group, position, etc.

wax = grow or increase gradually in intensity, number, size, strength, or volume (e.g. “the moonlight waxed and waned”); or to take on a particular characteristic or state (e.g. “to wax poetic”; often used in the context of someone speaking at length)

Vernacular spelling in the original text:
thro’ (through)

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