In the Days When the World was Wide and Other Verses

The Blue Mountains

Dec. — 1888

Henry Lawson

ABOVE the ashes straight and tall,
    Through ferns with moisture dripping,
I climb beneath the sandstone wall,
    My feet on mosses slipping.

Like ramparts round the valley’s edge
    The tinted cliffs are standing,
With many a broken wall and ledge,
    And many a rocky landing.

And round about their rugged feet
    Deep ferny dells are hidden
In shadowed depths, whence dust and heat
    Are banished and forbidden.

The stream that, crooning to itself,
    Comes down a tireless rover,
Flows calmly to the rocky shelf,
    And there leaps bravely over.

Now pouring down, now lost in spray
    When mountain breezes sally,
The water strikes the rock midway,
    And leaps into the valley.

Now in the west the colours change,
    The blue with crimson blending;
Behind the far Dividing Range,
    The sun is fast descending.

And mellowed day comes o’er the place,
    And softens ragged edges;
The rising moon’s great placid face
    Looks gravely o’er the ledges.

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