To Unanderra [poem by Philip Durham Lorimer]

[Editor: This poem by Philip Durham Lorimer was published in Songs and Verses by Philip Durham Lorimer: An Australian Bush Poet, 1901.]

To Unanderra

There’s peace on the hills in the winter’s short day,
When the cattle are fed from the stack ;
When hay is yet sweet, ere it smells of decay,
And there’s plenty for all and no lack.
This winter is mild ; Unanderra smiles now
O’er the pastures so lovely and green ;
The farmer’s broad laugh is a token, I trow,
That he’s smoothing the loss that has been.

Pale bride of the hills, here thy presence is sweet
To the lovers of all that is fair :
Unanderra, ascend from thy evergreen seat
To thy throne, that is beautiful there.
Sweet rest ’mong the fern, where thy calms ever dwell,
In the homes where pure love is the rule
Combined with kind thought which the weary know well,
As they drink the new milk in the cool.

Uneven thy walks ; but how cheering to know
That each leads to a home in the end,
Where much of life’s griefs in life’s trials below
Feels the clasp that’s sincere from a friend !
’Tis then that we know how humanity can
Be endeared to us all for its worth ;
For, the grip of the hand of a true honest man
Declares him a noble by birth.

A paradise thou ! where man’s nature combines
In the all that he sees, far or near ;
From beauty that grows ; from the twisting of vines
To the giant trees spreading out here.
There are lessons, indeed, in the evergreen leaf,
For the soul that in Nature hath part,
They teach us to triumph in moments of grief,
A calm to the mind and the heart !

When springs the new grass, and the brooklets appear
With a leap, or a hiss, or a roar ;
When waratahs wake on the range that is near,
And blossoms smile out as of yore ; —
I will kiss in my heart Unanderra’s kind breast,
And will write her fair name on my soul.
Oh ! memory then will endear my life’s rest
With her charm as the moments unroll.

Like pearls round thy neck, ev’ry scene is a dream
That is read by the charmed, as he views
Ev’ry shadow well cast o’er a fairy-land gleam,
With its delicate tints and its hues.
But softly I ask, Unanderra, from thee
A lone grave from my beautiful one,
Where wildness can sleep near the song on the tree
That awakes at the rise of the sun.

Parramatta, April 27, 1896.

E. A. Petherick (editor). Songs and Verses by Philip Durham Lorimer: An Australian Bush Poet, William Clowes and Sons, London, 1901, pages 231-232

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