Through the Smoke of Bushfires.
I saw the long grey wreaths of smoke arise
And lie along the margin of the skies,
And float athwart the blue of heaven and fall
Across my vision like a mourner’s pall.
I saw the seas and lands half hid in haze,
The city steeples and the forest ways,
And the broad bosom of the summer sea
Veiled like an Eastern maid in mystery.
No little glen but had its dim recess
Where shadows lurked in soft impassiveness,
No rocky headland but was pressed and kissed
Into oblivion by the swathing mist.
Till, all the world was as a dreamland shown,
And then I knew and marked it for my own,
The land my spirit loves, the land of dreams,
For which the heart for ever homesick seems.
The land with no horizons, where are laid
No ordered sequences of shine and shade,
No stiff processions of inveterate hours
Where dawns merge into days and buds to flowers.
Oh ! land of dreams where all the maybes bloom
And breathe their faint, impalpable perfume,
Where gallant thoughts walk gaily, unafraid,
Where on unbroken heartstrings there are played
Those long-lost chords, those sweet, unuttered notes
That always have evaded human throats.
A land where even those who have no wings may fly
Where love knows all, yet never knows to die,
Where there comes forth an answer, when the soul
Interrogates its origin and goal.
As an exiled reindeer to the sea, or a white gull to the foam,
My spirit turns oh! land of dreams, to thee, her only home.
Agnes L. Storrie. Poems, J. W. Kettlewell, Sydney, 1909, pages 219-220