This poem was first published by The Dandenong Journal on Thursday 29 May 1930.

Sunset, Cataract Hill

From the lofty heights, where grey cliffs frown,
Through tang’ling gorse and wild hedge briar;
Those breathless heights that the eye delights,
With their range of river and hill and town.
To look o’er the city, and trace each street.
With its ariel paths for the lightning’s feet.
Wind harp trum’d on leagues of wire.

Away far off the shadow’y hills,
Blue verge forever the landscaped rim,
Where tall peaks rise to the bending skies,
And the mistrack damp its dew distils,
While the swirling esk, in the gorge below,
Scatters its foam oh the sea-tides flow,
White’ning the bays where the boat fleets swim.

And the slum’brous clouds by winds undriyen,
Now kindle and gleam in the golden haze,
With fringes aglow on their breasts of snow
Mist shores, mapp’d on the blue of heaven,
Like isles afloat on the azure deep,
Serene and calm when the storm winds sleep,
Cliff and headland and peaks ablaze.

Down ’mid the pines on a western slope,
While the day dies out in a sea of fire,
Like streamers of gold from the rocks uproll’d,
Over the range from base to cope,
Centre’d far on the horizon’s arc,
The long rays lift and unbar the dark,
Tilting their lance points higher and higher.

Down ’mid the pines to the tune of the breeze,
Rising and falling in whisper and moan,
Like a marm’ring host as if mourning the lost.
Fingers invisible, sweeping the keys
Down ’mid the pines the white stones gleam,
There no sleepers awake from their dream,
There the dead sleep silent alone.

Oh, life thro’ the mists that darken the way,
May the skies of thy eventide glow,
And a restful peace be thy surcease,
When the last tide ebbs with the closing day,
For all in that stream of hurrying feet,
Now thronging the ways of the crowded street,
Who shall pass to their sleep on the slope below.

The shades wax deeper, and slowly down
The winding path, and its rude stone stairs,
A climber late, with a t weary gait.
Descends once more to the heated town.
Then a sudden flash of a thousand lights,
As the fleet fire-stream leaps o’er the heights,
And the day has gone, yet life hath cares.

Sunset, Cataract Hill. The Dandenong Journal (Vic. : 1927 – 1954), 29 May 1930, page 2. Retrieved 17 May 2020 from https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/201079806.

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Poet’s Corner is a quaint and quirky section of The Tasmanian Times. It has been designed to offer a haven to those who relish and immerse themselves in the sheer joy and pleasure emanating from English verse. Our idea is to share poems published in Tasmania during the early years of British arrival.

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