The Singing Garden

The Grey Goshawk

C.J. Dennis

THERE is a flutter in the trees;
And now a sudden, dread unease
Stills all the bushland melodies
        Amid the gums;
Stills now the song of wren and thrush;
Robin, honeyeater hush.
Now, with a wicked, whistling rush,
        Grey goshawk comes.

I am the threat; the dreaded king,
Grim Azrael, is on the wing,
And every little living thing
        Dares scarce a breath.
And now a parrot, shrill with fear,
Flies dodging there and doubling here
Thro’ inlaced limbs, in mad career
        From lusting death.

Grey ghost, grey death, I work my will
O’er forest dense, o’er wooded hill,
And on some tree-top rend my kill
        With reddened beak.
There is no haven in the tree,
There is no harbour safe from me;
In many a singing sanctuary
        My meat I seek.

Beware! The swift grey ghost is out!
Be still! Grey death lurks near about!
Crouch close! Shrink low!—But have no doubt
        I’ve marked my kill.
Grim Nemesis, I never fail;
Gaunt hunger is my spur, my flail.
I Feast. And now away I sail
        O’er the far hill.

The Singing Garden - Contents    |     The Grey Fantail

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