Bellbirds [poem by Agnes L. Storrie]

[Editor: This poem by Agnes L. Storrie was published in Poems, 1909.]


You remember how we heard them
In those quiet woodland dells,
Tiny grey-green songsters ringing
In the air their elfin bells.

Bellbirds! bellbirds! magic cadence,
Thin and sweet beyond compare
Like the footfall of a fairy
Tinkling down a silver stair,

Or a string of rounded sea-pearls
Swinging on a slender thread,
Interlacing, softly jangling
In the tree-tops overhead.

Or a tiny crystal runnel
Dropping down from stone to stone,
With a liquid splash of music
Into fairy bubbles blown.

Bellbirds! bellbirds! through the weaving
Of that sweet tautology
Runs a linking note of beauty
Tuned to some high symphony,

Far beyond your narrow vision,
Far beyond my larger view,
Yet the key-note has been given
As an instinct unto you.

And for you, O! happy bellbirds,
Life itself is harmony,
All your will, and all your duty
Is just happily to be,

Just to be — a simple charter
With the freedom of the sky,
Powers to wishes finely suited
Pinions, and desire to fly.

Served by morning’s airy lackeys,
Catered for by flower and tree,
Little despots of the woodland,
Sceptred by a melody!

Agnes L. Storrie. Poems, J. W. Kettlewell, Sydney, 1909, pages 175-177

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