The Satin Bower Bird [poem by C. J. Dennis]

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

The Satin Bower Bird

Spare a bloom of blue, lady,
To adorn a bower.
A violet will do, lady —
Any azure flower.
Since we hold a dance to-day,
We would make our ball-room gay,
Where the scented grasses sway,
And the tall trees tower.

Beautiful but shy, lady,
Yesterday we came
Dropping from the sky, lady,
Flecks of golden flame —
Golden flame and royal blue —
We have come to beg of you
Any scrap of heaven’s hue
For our dancing game.

Spare us but a leaf, lady,
If our suit be spurned
We shall play the thief, lady,
When your back is turned;
Ravishing your garden plot
Of the choicest you have got —
Pansy or forget-me-not —
Counting it well earned.

Then, if some rare chance, lady,
Later should befall.
And you gain a glance, lady,
At our dancing hall,
You will find your blossoms there
’Mid our decorations where,
With a proud, patrician air,
We hold the Bushland Ball.



Source:
C. J. Dennis, The Singing Garden, Sydney: Angus & Robertson, 1935, pages 167-168

Editor’s notes:
azure = the blue of a clear unclouded sky

bower = a shaded, leafy resting place or shelter, usually located within a garden or park and often made of latticework upon which plants (especially vines) are grown, or made out of intertwined tree boughs or vines (also known as an “arbor”) (“bower” may also refer to a country cottage or retreat, or to a woman’s bedroom or apartments in a medieval castle or mansion)

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)

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

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