Henry Lawson

Reedy River

Ten miles down Reedy River A pool of water lies, And all the year it mirrors The changes in the skies, And in that pool’s broad bosom Is room for all the stars; Its bed of sand has drifted O’er countless rocky bars. Around the lower edges There waves a bed of reeds, Where water rats are hidden And where the wild duck breeds; And grassy slopes rise gently To ridges long and low, Where groves of wattle flourish And native bluebells grow. Beneath the granite ridges The eye may just discern Where Rocky Creek emerges From deep green banks of fern; And standing tall between them, The grassy she-oaks cool The hard, blue-tinted waters Before they reach the pool. Ten miles down Reedy River One Sunday afternoon, I rode with Mary Campbell To that broad, bright lagoon; We left our horses grazing Till shadows climbed the peak, And strolled beneath the she-oaks On the banks of Rocky Creek. Then home along the river That night we rode a race, And the moonlight lent a glory To Mary Campbell’s face; And I pleaded for our future All through that moonlight ride, Until our weary horses Drew closer side by side. Ten miles from Ryan’s Crossing And five miles below the peak, I built a little homestead On the banks of Rocky Creek; I cleared the land and fenced it And ploughed the rich, red loam, And my first crop was golden When I brought my Mary home. Now still down Reedy River The grassy she-oaks sigh, And the water-holes still mirror The pictures in the sky; And over all for ever Go sun and moon and stars, While the golden sand is drifting Across the rocky bars But of the hut I builded There are no traces now. And many rains have levelled The furrows of the plough; And my bright days are olden, For the twisted branches wave And the wattle blossoms golden On the hill by Mary’s grave.

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