The Bushrangers: A play in five acts

And other poems

To My Young Countryman, D. H. D.

Charles Harpur

WHO doubteth when the Morning Star doth light
Its lamp of beauty, that the day is coming?
Or where prime odours track the breeze’s flight
That in the vicinage rare flowers are blooming,
Or where the wild bees round about are humming
That there is honey in some cedar’s height,
Or that the Sea is heaving into sight
When from afar a surgy sound comes booming?
And surely, as the observer understands
What these pre-signify, as yet behind,
Thy Intellectual Amplitude expands
Before me in the Future when I find
Some early blossom breathing of thy mind—
Some thing of promise fashion’d by thy hands!

.     .     .     .     .

A Trooper of France, in desperate need
Had struggled from under his dying steed,
Where Egypt’s pyramids appeared:
While on his black war-horse, the Turk
Who had borne him down, to finish his work
Back wheelingly careered.

Taking his resolute stand
Foot deep in his charger’s blood,
The soldier of Christendom, sword in hand
That gleamily out-pointing, showed
Like the lightning-tongue of a settling cloud,
His foe awaiting stood.

Urged into whirlwind speed,
On on with a scattering tail
Like the hurrying thunderbolt’s smoky trail!
On on with a streaming mane
Like the foremost racks of a hurricane,
On came the Tartar steed!

Then passed with a vengeful clash
Of blades and a lunging downward crash
The imminent shock!
And when its cloud of dust upthrown
Clear’d off, there stood that Trooper alone,
Firm as a rock!

But two steeds and a Moslem in death lay still—
And a kite of the Desert that came, flop, flop,
In heavy flight from a pyramid’s top,
In a merry mood
At the scent of blood,
Was circling o’er and screaming shrill.

The Bushrangers - Contents

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