A Mid-summer Noon in the Australian Forest

A Mid-summer Noon in the Australian Forest

Original Text

The Poetical Works of Charles Harpur, ed. Elizabeth Perkins (London, Sydney and Melbourne: Angus & Robertson, 1984): 1990-200.

1Not a bird disturbs the air,
2There is quiet everywhere;
3Over plains and over woods.
4What a mighty stillness broods.
5Even the grasshoppers keep
6Where the coolest shadows sleep;
7Even the busy ants are found
8Resting in their pebbled mound;
9Even the locust clingeth now
11And over hills and over plains
12 Quiet, vast and slumbrous, reigns.
13Only there's a drowsy humming
14From yon warm lagoon slow coming:
15'Tis the dragon-hornet -- see!
17With yellow on a tawny ground --
18Each rich spot nor square nor round,
19But rudely heart-shaped, as it were
20The blurred and hasty impress there,
22Dusted o'er with golden meal:
23Only there's a droning where
24Yon bright beetle gleams the air --
25Gleams it in its droning flight
26With a slanting track of light,
27Till rising in the sunshine higher,
28Its shards flame out like gems on fire.
29Every other thing is still,
31Whose cool murmur only throws
32A cooler comfort round Repose;
33Or some ripple in the sea
34Of leafy boughs, where, lazily.
35Tired Summer, in her forest bower
36Turning with the noontide hour,
37Heaves a slumbrous breath, ere she
38Once more slumbers peacefully.
39O 'tis easeful here to lie
40Hidden from Noon's scorching eye,
41In this grassy cool recess
42Musing thus of quietness.


10] barky: covered with bark. Back to Line
16] bedaubed: smeared or daubed with a sticky substance, such as paint. Back to Line
21] vermeil: gilded silver or bronze. Back to Line
30] rill: small stream. Back to Line
RPO poem Editors
Cameron LaFollette
RPO Edition