Heading photographs by Harry Whaite (1912-2011)

 

 

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Poems by John Le Gay Brereton

from "Sing With the Wind"
                                        Published by 'Envirobook" 1989

Song of

The Warragambas

 
(Tune: "The Sick Stockrider")

 

In the thickly wooded valleys are a thousand merry calls,
That echo in the Warragamba heart;
The voices of the rushing winds and filmy waterfalls,
Are louder than the hucksters of the mart
We leave a drink untasted on the swell Australian bar,
And dream of some sequestered wooden pub;
We are pagans -- for the tolling chapel bells are fainter far,
Than the singing of the bell-birds in the scrub.
A thousand homes are waiting us by gully, plain and hill,
A thousand fireless altars wait unseen;
But tomorrow you may follow us on any track you will,
By the little patch of black upon the green.
For clad in love and sunlight goes the leader of the clan
The trappings of modernity are shed
While Tompkins bangs his brolly on his polished frying pan,
Or waves his carpet slippers 'round his head.

 

J Le Gay Brereton
University of Sydney
July 10, 1908
 
 

Wanderers

I, Who am son of a star
And brother of birds and trees,
Have wandered fire-driven afar
Through forests and under the seas.
I have clad me in lowly attire
And sojourned in many a den,
But my heart could not rest for the fire,
And I wandered and wandered again.
And ages passed over my head
As I curled on myself in the slime,
And aeons I lay as one dead
And sunk in the waters of Time.
But the fire is not slaked by the flood
Nor quenched by an ignorant breath;
It glows like a gem in the mud
It flares in the passage of death.
And have I not found you at last
By the light of the flame of unrest?
You are the aim of the past;
You are the soul of my quest
We are one. Shall we end as we are
While the planets are wheeling by?
We wander fire-driven afar
Through glimmering gulfs of the sky.

 

J. Le Gay Brereton
"Hermes" Vol. 3 No. 3
July 12, 1902