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They are rhymes rudely strung with intent less
   Of sound than of words,
In lands where bright blossoms are scentless,
   And songless bright birds;
Where, with fire and fierce drought on her tresses,
Insatiable summer oppresses
Sere woodlands and sad wildernesses,
   And faint flocks and herds.

Where in dreariest days, when all dews end,
   And all winds are warm,
Wild Winter's large flood-gates are loosen'd,
   And floods, freed from storm,
From broken-up fountain heads, dash on
Dry deserts with long pent up passion —
Here rhyme was first framed without fashion —
   Song shaped without form.

Whence gather'd? — The locust's glad chirrup
   May furnish a stave;
The ring of a rowel and stirrup,
   The wash of a wave;
The chaunt of the marsh frog in rushes,
That chimes through the pauses and hushes
Of nightfall, the torrent that gushes,
   The tempests that rave;

In the deep'ning of dawn, when it dapples
   The dusk of the sky,
With streaks like the redd'ning of apples,
   The ripening of rye.
To eastward, when cluster by cluster,
Dim stars and dull planets, that muster,
Wax wan in a world of white lustre
   That spreads far and high;

In the gathering of night gloom o'erhead, in
   The still silent change,
All fire-flush'd when forest trees redden
   On slopes of the range.
When the gnarl'd, knotted trunks Eucalyptian
Seem carved, like weird columns Egyptian,
With curious device, quaint inscription,
   And hieroglyph strange;

In the Spring, when the wattle gold trembles
   'Twixt shadow and shine,
When each dew-laden air draught resembles
   A long draught of wine;
When the sky-line's blue burnish'd resistance
Makes deeper the dreamiest distance,
Some song in all hearts hath existence, —
   Such songs have been mine.

This work is in the public domain in Australia because it was created in Australia and the term of copyright has expired.

See Australian Copyright Council - Duration of Copyright (August 2014).


This work is also in the public domain in the United States because it was in the public domain in Australia in 1996, and no copyright was registered in the U.S. (This is the combined effect of Australia having joining the Berne Convention in 1928, and of 17 USC 104A with its critical date of January 1, 1996.)

This work was published before January 1, 1924, and is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.