Verses Popular and Humorous

Reedy River

Henry Lawson

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.

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.

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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