The Scrub Wren [poem by C. J. Dennis]

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

The Scrub Wren

Even among the tits and wrens
And birds of scanty inches,
Small fowl of shaded forest glens,
The lesser warblers and their hens
And little chats and finches
I hold an unassuming place,
In lowly regions winging;
So, few remark my nimble grace
And fewer praise my singing.

Where sunshafts pierce the denser scrub,
And tangled shadows blacken
Green sward, I flit from shrub to shrub
To seek the appetizing grub,
And dance amid the bracken;
Singing my little song the while
For those who care to listen,
While high above the soft skies smile
And gum-leaves glint and glisten.

No noisy chorister am I
Bedecked in gaudy vesture;
On no wide venturings I fly
’Mid tree-tops towering to the sky.
Less lordly is my gesture.
I lodge and labour with the meek
In secret ways and scented,
And nimbly play at hide-and-seek
By ferny dale and friendly creek,
Unfamed, but well contented.

C. J. Dennis, The Singing Garden, Sydney: Angus & Robertson, 1935, pages 75-76

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

sward = a lawn or meadow; land covered with grass

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