WIDE are the plains—the plains that stretch to the west
An ocean of trackless waste, untrodden and rude,
Where an Austral sun flings fire on earth’s bare breast,
Brazen skies o’erhanging a treeless solitude.
Wild are the plains—the plains that shimmer and surge,
Leagues of billowy grass like an angry sea,
Bend ’neath the storm-wind, chanting its mystic dirge—
The wind that knows no Lord—Lord of ocean or lea.
Calm are the plains—when the moon’s clear beams are shed
And the wilds lie hushed, all shrouded in silver-grey,
And Nature sinks to rest like one whose life has fled,
E’en as a bride lying dead in her bridal array.
Weird are the plains—the plains that wait for the dawn
When the shadowy darkness strives with the sickly light,
And the battle hangs in the balance, finely drawn,
Till the spears of morning pierce through the mail of night.
Who shall hear, O Nature, messages thou wouldst send
In thy desolate places, far from the moving throng?
Ah, but the soul that loveth thee best may comprehend,
The voice of the silence speaketh louder than song!