The Magpie [poem by C. J. Dennis]

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

The Magpie

“CalLOG’alloo-ay!” On a windy day.
Perched on a tree-top high
I pour my notes from a valiant throat;
For cock o’ the walk am I!
Defiant, loud, superbly proud,
My song soars to the blue,
A clarion call a challenge to all:

I have set the bounds to my feeding grounds;
And here I am the king.
With beak and claw I press my law
On every feathered thing.
Cock o’ the walk — no questing hawk,
Proud eagle, crow nor thrush
Stays to defy my battle-cry,
My pinions’ whistling rush.

“CalLOG’allay-oo!” When day is new
I fill the scented morn
With a joyful song, loud, sweet and long —
My echoing, hunting horn.
“Calloo, callay!” I greet the day
Throned on a tree-top high.
In my domain I rule, I reign,
Cock o’ the walk am I!

C. J. Dennis, The Singing Garden, Sydney: Angus & Robertson, 1935, pages 177-178

Editor’s notes:
The capitalization of “LOG” within the phrase “CalLOG’alloo-ay” is in the original text.

blue = the phrase “the blue” is a reference to the sky

morn = morning

pinion = a bird’s wing; in more specific usage, the outer section of a bird’s wing; in broader usage, “pinions” refers to the wings of a bird (“pinion” may also refer specifically to a feather, especially a flight feather, or a quill)

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