Whispering in Wattle -Boughs by Adam Lindsay Gordon
OH, gaily sings the bird! and the wattle-boughs are stirred And rustled by the scented breath of Spring; Oh, the dreary wistful longing! Oh, the faces that are thronging! Oh, the voices that are vaguely whispering!
Oh, tell me, father mine, ere the good ship crossed the brine, On the gangway one mute handgrip we exchanged, Do you, past the grave, employ, for your stubborn reckless boy, Those petitions that in life were neâ€™er estranged?
Oh, tell me, sister dearâ€”parting word and parting tear Never passed between us: let me bear the blameâ€” Are you living, girl, or dead? bitter tears since then Iâ€™ve shed For the lips that lisped with mine a motherâ€™s name.
Oh, tell me, ancient friend, ever ready to defend In our boyhood, at the base of lifeâ€™s long hill, Are you waking yet or sleeping? Have you left this vale of weeping, Or do you, like your comrade, linger still?
Oh, whisper, buried love, is there rest and peace above?â€” There is little hope or comfort here below; On your sweet face lies the mould, and your bed is strait and coldâ€” Near the harbour where the sea-tides ebb and flow.
All silentâ€”they are dumbâ€”and the breezes go and come With an apathy that mocks at manâ€™s distress; Laugh, scoffer, while you may! I could bow me down and pray For an answer that might stay my bitterness.
Oh, harshly screams the bird, and the wattle-bloom is stirred; Thereâ€™s a sullen weird-like whisper in the bough: â€˜Aye, kneel and pray and weep, but HIS BELOVED SLEEP CAN NEVER BE DISTURBED BY SUCH AS THOU!â€™