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  ― 28 ―

Reedy River

TEN miles down Reedy River
A pool of water lies,
And all the year it mirrors
The changes in the skies,
And in that pool's broad bosom
Is room for all the stars;
Its bed of sand has drifted
O'er countless rocky bars.

Around the lower edges
There waves a bed of reeds,
Where water rats are hidden
And where the wild duck breeds;
And grassy slopes rise gently
To ridges long and low,
Where groves of wattle flourish
And native bluebells grow.




  ― 29 ―
Beneath the granite ridges
The eye may just discern
Where Rocky Creek emerges
From deep green banks of fern;
And standing tall between them,
The grassy sheoaks cool
The hard, blue-tinted waters
Before they reach the pool.

Ten miles down Reedy River
One Sunday afternoon,
I rode with Mary Campbell
To that broad bright lagoon;
We left our horses grazing
Till shadows climbed the peak,
And strolled beneath the sheoaks
On the banks of Rocky Creek.

Then home along the river
That night we rode a race,
And the moonlight lent a glory
To Mary Campbell's face;
And I pleaded for my future
All thro' that moonlight ride,
Until our weary horses
Drew closer side by side.




  ― 30 ―
Ten miles from Ryan's crossing
And five below the peak,
I built a little homestead
On the banks of Rocky Creek:
I cleared the land and fenced it
And ploughed the rich red loam,
And my first crop was golden
When I brought Mary home.

Now still down Reedy River
The grassy sheoaks sigh,
And the waterholes still mirror
The pictures in the sky;
And over all for ever
Go sun and moon and stars,
While the golden sand is drifting
Across the rocky bars;

But of the hut I builded
There are no traces now.
And many rains have levelled
The furrows of the plough;
And my bright days are olden,
For the twisted branches wave
And the wattle blossoms golden
On the hill by Mary's grave.

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