― 11 ―

Doherty's Corner

THERE'S no bush to-day at Doherty's Corner,
Only strange green hills and the glint of a far bay;
Time has come like a thief and stolen the wonder
And magic of Yesterday.

There are no fairies now at Doherty's Corner,
Where dusky spider-orchids and wild white daisies grew;
Time that stilled the heart of the singing forest
Has stolen her fairies too.

Henderson's hill is green at Doherty's Corner,
But no fairy trips in the dawn or the dusk thereon,
Perhaps they died when the old black log and the bracken
And the box bushes were gone.

They only lived, maybe, in a child's dreaming,
For children walk in a twilit world of their own,
And the grown folk were ever too wise to listen
To pipes by the fairies blown.

They used to say it was wind and the bees thrumming
Through billows of bean blossom as white as driven foam;
But I knew it was not the wind or the brown bees humming
Heavily hiving home;

For I had heard such music there by the river
When never a reed-head rustled and every sense was a-leap —
Under the darkened hillside . . . . the little people
Singing the world to sleep!

  ― 12 ―
For I had heard such piping there in the low light,
The queer half-light before the light of the moon,
All the pipes of Faëry playing together
Down by the old lagoon.

O Green Hills, O hills with your alien faces,
Fresh as August flowers on the grass of an old grave,
Your witch gold has gone with the fairy pipers'
Wood-song and elfin stave!

You are sad, O ye hills, with your faces lifted,
Lit with a young delight to the ache of the far skies!
Yea, you are sad as the faith of little children
And the sorrow of old eyes.

There's no bush to-day at Doherty's Corner,
No pipers will come with pipes skirling again
To dance for me on Henderson's hill in the moonlight,
Or cry in the fairy rain.

It's a kind green land at Doherty's Corner,
And new, fair children frolic its hills upon;
But once . . . . once in the years that are half forgotten . . . .
Once it was Avalon.