The Banshee Called for Me by John Alfred “Jack” Sorensen

I heard the Banshee call last night
The Banshee called for me,
Out where the shrouded clouds slain light
Patterned a bloodwood tree
She called twice eerily.

The wind gushed down from the Leopolds
To sunder the sullen night
With a song it learned in the mystery holds
That never knew light nor sight.
The voice of a mountain’s might.

With fright clutched throat and sweat-bathed face
I lay on my bamboo bed,
My hut was fey as is a place
Of the unforgiven dead.
But a voice within me said:

Her grim forbode in my native “Meath”
I well could understand
But she follows me with moan of death
To this carefree sun sweet land.
Then anger forced my hand.

I went forthwith to the bloodwood tree
And found her crouching there.
Raw rage was running red in me
My despair had mastered fear
As I grasped her wind-swept hair.

Wind flayed the staid Pandana Palms
(The wind is a frantic fool)
As I carried her with hate-steeled arms
To the bunyip-haunted pool.
She drowned in the waters cool.

The lilies closed above her head
But never a cry made she;
Then I sought sleep on the bamboo bed
In my hut near the bloodwood tree.
But ere dawn she called for me.


Date: 1949

By: John Alfred “Jack” Sorensen (1907-1949)

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