Charles Harpur(23 January 1813 - 10 June 1868 / Windsor, New South Wales)
A Midsummer Noon in the Australian Forest
- by Charles Harpur107
A MIDSUMMER NOON IN THE AUSTRALIAN FOREST
Not a bird disturbs the air! There is quiet everywhere; Over plains and over woods What a mighty stillness broods.
Even the grasshoppers keep [All the birds and insects keep] Where the coolest shadows sleep; Even the busy ants are found Resting in their pebbled mound; Even the locust clingeth now In silence to the barky bough: And over hills and over plains Quiet, vast and slumbrous, reigns.
Only there's a drowsy humming From yon warm lagoon slow coming: 'Tis the dragon-hornet - see! All bedaubed resplendently With yellow on a tawny ground - Each rich spot nor square nor round, But rudely heart-shaped, as it were The blurred and hasty impress there, Of vermeil-crusted seal Dusted o'er with golden meal: Only there's a droning where Yon bright beetle gleams the air - Gleams it in its droning flight [Tracks it in its gleaming flight] With a slanting track of light, Till rising in the sunshine higher, [Rising in the sunshine higher,] Its shards flame out like gems on fire. [Till its shards flame out like fire.]
Every other thing is still, Save the ever wakeful rill, Whose cool murmur only throws A cooler comfort round Repose; Or some ripple in the sea Of leafy boughs, where, lazily, Tired Summer, in her forest bower Turning with the noontide hour, Heaves a slumbrous breath, ere she Once more slumbers peacefully.
0 'tis easeful here to lie Hidden from Noon's scorching eye, In this grassy cool recess Musing thus of Quietness.
two versions of this poem have been located. The relevant changes are included in the text in square brackets, i.e. "[...]".
Change and Death
- by Charles Harpur95
We build but for change and for death, To whom a like homage pay glory and shame; For something must pass to give being to both. All things are rounded by change, and are perishing— Even the God-builded frame of the world. The glories of life, as they shine, But illumine a path to the gloom of the grave, And the winter of shame is soon over and gone! Of all we inherit, behold the inheritors! Throned on the endless successions of Time.
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