THE wiree sang that Christmas Day, A rippling, limpid, liquid lay In clump and cover trilling; On ripened grain and gleaming road The molten, golden sunlight glowed, The lone land’s rapture stifling.
And health and strength and youth and grace Were gathered down at Casey’s place In mirthful mood of madness; While, hidden in the currajong, The wiree sang his limpid song, Responsive to the gladness.
And Mary sparkled everywhere, The sunlight weaving through her hair The colours of December; Ah, two shall strive—but one shall win And one shall feel the javelin ’Twere poison to remember!
The silent bush that Christmas Day In molten, golden sunlight lay, Nor bough nor leaf a-tremble; All hushed and mute, it scented asleep, Or wrapped away—in musings deep That sleep itself resemble.
One voice the outer spaces filled— That lilting lay the wiree trilled, Like raptures of a lover, “Wir-ree, Wir-ree, Itchong, Itchong”— Then rippled through its liquid song, Leaf-hidden in the cover.
And one has seen the love arise To shade the light of laughing eyes Like white clouds in December; But one has felt the piercing pang That thrilled the song the wiree sang— And he shall still remember.