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Rolf Boldrewood

Perdita

She is beautiful yet, with her wondrous hair
And eyes that are stormy with fitful light,
The delicate hues of brow and cheek
Are unmarred all, rose-clear and bright;
That matchless frame yet holds at bay
The crouching bloodhounds, Remorse, Decay.

There is no fear in her great dark eyes --
No hope, no love, no care,
Stately and proud she looks around
With a fierce, defiant stare;
Wild words deform her reckless speech,
Her laugh has a sadness tears never reach.

Whom should she fear on earth? Can Fate
One direr torment lend
To her few little years of glitter and gloom
With the sad old story to end
When the spectres of Loneliness, Want and Pain
Shall arise one night with Death in their train?

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The Bushman’s Lullaby

Lift me down to the creek bank, Jack,
It must be fresher outside;
The long hot day is well nigh done;
It’s a chance if I see another one;
I should like to look on the setting sun,
And the water, cool and wide.

We didn’t think it would be like this
Last week, as we rode together;
True mates we’ve been in this far land
For many a year, since Devon’s strand
We left for these wastes of sun-scorched sand
In the blessed English weather.

We left, when the leafy lanes were green
And the trees met overhead,
The rippling brooks ran clear and gay,
The air was sweet with the scent of hay,
How well I remember the very day
And the words my mother said!

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