The Spinebill Honeyeater [poem by C. J. Dennis]

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

The Spinebill Honeyeater

I come in blossom-time,
Singing days and sunny days,
Flitting like a fairy thro’ a nectar-laden land,
Flashing o’er the underbrush;
Happy days and honey days
Hear my cheery calling when the springtime is at hand.

Foxglove and pentstemon
Know my harmless ravishing,
Lucerne and lavender and Canterbury bell;
Hollyhock and honeysuckle,
All their sweetness lavishing,
Lure me to the banqueting and hide my wooing well.

Hanging now, or hovering,
Flitting, light as thistledown,
Thro’ my bowered banquet hall where Beauty points the way,
Pausing now a little while
To send a joyous whistle down
An avenue of loveliness, to hymn a perfect day —

I come in blossom-time,
Singing down the sunny days,
All their sweetness proffering, the flowers bend and nod,
With bee and butterfly
Sharing now the honey days,
I sip the cup’s kind offering and sing my grace to God.

C. J. Dennis, The Singing Garden, Sydney: Angus & Robertson, 1935, pages 37-38

Editor’s notes:
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)

o’er = over (pronounced the same as “oar”, “or”, and “ore”)

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

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