Aus­tralian scenery

Isis Town and Country - - Opinion - By BANJO PA­TER­SON

The Moun­tains

A land of som­bre, silent hills, where moun­tain cat­tle go By twisted tracks, on sidel­ings steep, where gi­ant gumtrees grow And the wind replies, in the river oaks, to the song of the stream be­low. A land where the hills keep watch and ward, silent and wide awake As those who sit by a dead camp­fire, and wait for the dawn to break, Or those who watched by the Holy Cross for the dead Redeemer’s sake. A land where si­lence lies so deep that sound it­self is dead And a gaunt grey bird, like a home­less soul, drifts, noise­less, over­head And the world’s great story is left un­told, and the mes­sage is left un­said. The Plains A land, as far as the eye can see, where the wav­ing grasses grow Or the plains are black­ened and burnt and bare, where the false mi­rages go Like shift­ing sym­bols of hope de­ferred - land where you never know. Land of plenty or land of want, where the grey Com­pan­ions dance, Feast or famine, or hope or fear, and in all things land of chance, Where Na­ture pam­pers or Na­ture slays, in her ruth­less red, ro­mance. And we catch a sound of a fairy’s song, as the wind goes whip­ping by, Or a scent like in­cense drifts along from the herbage ripe and dry - Or the dust storms dance on their ballroom floor, where the bones of the cat­tle lie.

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