The Bushrangers: A play in five acts

And other poems

The Voice of the Native Oak

Charles Harpur

WHO hath lain him underneath
    A lone oak by a lonely stream,
He hath heard an utterance breathe
    Sadder than aught else may seem!

Up in its dusk boughs, out-tressing
    Like the hair of a giant’s head,
Mournful things beyond our guessing
    Day and night are utter‘ed.

Even when the waveless air
    May only stir the lightest leaf,
A lowly voice keeps moaning there
    Wordless oracles of grief.

But when nightly blasts are roaming,
    Thus lowly is that voice no more:
Then from the streaming branches coming,
    Elfin shrieks are heard to pour.

Till the listener surely deems
    That some wierd spirit of the air
Hath made those boughs the lute of themes
    Wilder, darker than despair,—

Some lonely spirit that hath dwelt
    For ages in one lonely tree—
Some weary spirit that hath felt
    The burthen of eternity!

The Bushrangers - Contents

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