The Bush, My Lover

The campfire gleams resistance
To every twinkling star;
The horse-bells in the distance
Are jangling faint and far;

Through gum boughs 'lorn and lonely
The passing breezes sigh;
In all the world are only
My star crowned Love and I.

The still night wraps Macquarie;
The white moon, drifting slow,
Takes back her silver glory
From watching waves below;

To dalliance I give over
Though half the world may chide,
And clasp my one true lover
Here on Macquarie side.

The loves of earth grow olden
Or kneel at some new shrine;
Her locks are always golden
This brave Bush Love of mine;

And for her starlit beauty,
And for her dawns dew pearled,
Her name in love and duty
I guard against the world.

They curse her desert places
How can they understand
Who know not what her face is
And never held her hand

Who may have heard the meeting
Of boughs the wind has stirred,
Yet missed the whispered greeting
Our listening hearts have heard.

For some have travelled over
The long miles at her side,
Yet claimed her not as Lover
Nor thought of her as Bride:

And some have followed after
Through sun and mist for years,
Nor held the sunshine laughter,
Nor guessed the raindrops tears.

And if her droughts are bitter,
Her dancing mirage vain
Are all things gold that glitter?
What pleasure but hath pain?

And since among love's blisses
Love's penalties must live,
Shall we not take her kisses,
And, taking them, forgive?

The winds of dawn are roving
The river oaks astir
What heart were torn of loving
That had no love but her?

Till last red stars are lighted
And last winds wander West,
Her troth and mine are plighted
The lover I love best!

Will Ogilvie