Here you will find the Long Poem An Old Bush Road of poet Arthur Albert Dawson Bayldon
Dear old road, wheel-worn and broken, Winding thro' the forest green, Barred with shadow and with sunshine, Misty vistas drawn between. Grim, scarred bluegums ranged austerely, Lifting blackened columns each To the large, fair fields of azure, Stretching ever out of reach. See the hardy bracken growing Round the fallen limbs of trees; And the sharp reeds from the marshes, Washed across the flooded leas; And the olive rushes, leaning All their pointed spears to cast Slender shadows on the roadway, While the faint, slow wind creeps past. Ancient ruts grown round with grasses, Soft old hollows filled with rain; Rough, gnarled roots all twisting queerly, Dark with many a weather-stain. Lichens moist upon the fences, Twiners close against the logs; Yellow fungus in the thickets, Vivid mosses in the bogs. Dear old road, wheel-worn and broken, What delights in thee I find! Subtle charm and tender fancy, Like a fragrance in the mind. Thy old ways have set me dreaming, And out-lived illusions rise, And the soft leaves of the landscape Open on my thoughtful eyes. See the clump of wattles, standing Dead and sapless on the rise; When their boughs were full of beauty, Even to uncaring eyes, I was ever first to rifle The soft branches of their store. O the golden wealth of blossom I shall gather there no more! Now we reach the dun morasses, Where the red moss used to grow, Ruby-bright upon the water, Floating on the weeds below. Once the swan and wild-fowl glided By those sedges, green and tall; Here the booming bitterns nested; Here we heard the curlews call. Climb this hill and we have rambled To the last turn of the way; Here is where the bell-birds tinkled Fairy chimes for me all day. These were bells that never wearied, Swung by ringers on the wing; List! the elfin strains are waking, Memory sets the bells a-ring! Dear old road, no wonder, surely, That I love thee like a friend! And I grieve to think how surely All thy loveliness will end. For thy simple charm is passing, And the turmoil of the street Soon will mar thy sylvan silence With the tramp of careless feet. And for this I look more fondly On the sunny landscape, seen From the road, wheel-worn and broken, Winding thro' the forest green, Something still remains of Nature, Thoughts of other days to bring: -- For the staunch old trees are standing, And I hear the wild birds sing!