[Editor: This poem by John Shaw Neilson was published in Heart of Spring (1919). It was also published in Ballad and Lyrical Poems (1923) and Collected Poems of John Shaw Neilson (1934) under the title of “Along a River”.]
Green leaves — a patch of world along a river,
The drab and silver draping every limb,
The cackling kingfisher with throat a-quiver
Eager to sing for us a morning hymn.
By yonder trees the rough red rock hangs over
The black duck’s brood — a little fleet at sea;
In the far sky a wicked foe doth hover;
A plover calls — it is a call for me.
Across the stream, slowly and with much shrinking
Softly a full-eyed wallaby descends
To the blue water’s edge … I see him drinking …
And he and I and all his folk are friends.
Shaw Neilson, Heart of Spring, Sydney: The Bookfellow, 1919, page 18
Also published in:
John Shaw Neilson, Ballad and Lyrical Poems, Sydney: The Bookfellow in Australia, 1923, page 14 [under the title of “Along a River”]
John Shaw Neilson (edited by R. H. Croll), Collected Poems of John Shaw Neilson, Melbourne: Lothian Book Publishing Company, 1934, page 18 [under the title of “Along a River”]