The Singing Garden

The Rufous Fantail

C.J. Dennis

WHERE the mountain waters glide,
Where no summer noon may burn,
Where the platypuses hide
Snug amid the coral fern;
    Where the cool, green twilights play
And the darting dragon-fly
    Skims the stream, and flits away
    Back into the burning day,
            There am I.

Here my pendant home is hung—
A leafy cradle, cobweb girt—
O’er the singing waters slung
From a slender tea-tree spurt;
    Here my nestlings rest content
While, o’er gum and myrtle high,
    Bending to my bushy tent,
    Peeps, thro’ some wind-riven rent,
            A scrap of sky.

In the open I am shy;
Vanishing in coy distress
Should you seek too close to spy
On my russet loveliness.
    But, where my green tent is spread,
Watching with unwinking eye
    From my gently swaying bed,
    Sudden, close beside your head,
            There am I.

Sing the waters where they flow,
Sing the thrushes high above,
Sing soft breezes crooning low
Thro’ a bower built for love.
    Fretted shade and dappled sun,
Muted song and lullaby;
    Where the singing waters run,
    Peaceful as a cloistered nun,
            Here sing I.

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