Robert Richardson

Ballade of Wattle Blossom

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There's a land that is happy and fair,
Set gem-like in halcyon seas;
The white winters visit not there,
To sadden its blossoming leas,
More bland than the Hesperides,
Or any warm isle of the West,
Where the wattle-bloom perfumes the breeze,
And the bell-bird builds her nest.

When the oak and the elm are bare,
And wild winds vex the shuddering trees;
There the clematis whitens the air,
And the husbandman laughs as he sees
The grass rippling green to his knees,
And his vineyards in emerald drest --
Where the wattle-bloom bends in the breeze,
And the bell-bird builds her nest.

What land is with this to compare?
Not the green hills of Hybla, with bees
Honey-sweet, are more radiant and rare
In colour and fragrance than these
Boon shores, where the storm-clouds cease,
And the wind and the wave are at rest --
Where the wattle-bloom waves in the breeze,
And the bell-bird builds her nest.

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