Archive for January 26th, 2019

Saturday, 26 January 2019

Sydney Cove, 1788 by Roderic Quinn

She sat on the rocks, her fireless eyes
Teased and tired with the thoughts of yore;
And paining her sense were alien skies,
An alien sea and an alien shore.

In gold-green dusks she glimpsed new flowers
And the glittering wings of gleaming birds —
But haunting her still were English bowers
And the clinging sweetness of old love-words.

A soft breeze murmured of unknown shores
And laughed as it touched her with fingers light,
But she mourned the more for the wind that roars
Down sullen coasts on a northern night.

Like topaz gems on a sable dome
The stranger stars stole shyly forth;
She saw no stars like the stars of home
That burned, white-fired, in the frosty north.

A restless sea was at her feet,
A restless sea of darkest blue;
The lights burned dimly on The Fleet,
And these were all the ships it knew.

She watched the dark tides rise and fall,
The lion-tides that, night and noon,
Range round the world, and moan and call
In sad sea-voices to the moon.

Thus while she watched they ebbed and flowed;
Till last with sudden splendour Day
Lit all the scene with gold, and showed
An arrow black on a garb of grey.

From: Quinn, Roderic, Poems, 2003, University of Sydney Library: Sydney, p. 18.
(http://setis.library.usyd.edu.au/ozlit/pdf/quipoem.pdf)

Date: 1920

By: Roderic Quinn (1867-1949)