The Man From Snowy River and Other Verses

Daylight is Dying

Andrew Barton ‘Banjo’ Paterson

    Away in the west,
The wild birds are flying
    In silence to rest;
In leafage and frondage
    Where shadows are deep,
They pass to its bondage—
    The kingdom of sleep.

And watched in their sleeping
    By stars in the height,
They rest in your keeping,
    Oh, wonderful night.
When night doth her glories
    Of starshine unfold,
’Tis then that the stories
    Of bush-land are told.

Unnumbered I hold them
    In memories bright,
But who could unfold them,
    Or read them aright?
Beyond all denials
    The stars in their glories
The breeze in the myalls
    Are part of these stories.

The waving of grasses,
    The song of the river
That sings as it passes
    For ever and ever,
The hobble-chains’ rattle,
    The calling of birds,
The lowing of cattle
    Must blend with the words.

Without these, indeed, you
    Would find it ere long,
As though I should read you
    The words of a song
That lamely would linger
    When lacking the rune,
The voice of the singer,
    The lilt of the tune.

But, as one half-hearing
    An old-time refrain,
With memory clearing,
    Recalls it again,
These tales, roughly wrought of
    The bush and its ways,
May call back a thought of
    The wandering days,

And, blending with each
    In the memories that throng,
There haply shall reach
    You some echo of song.

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