Reedy River

A poem by Henry Lawson

Ten miles down Reedy River
A pool of water lies,
And all the year it mirrors
The changes in the skies.
Within that pool's broad bosom
Is room for all the stars:
It's 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 drooping 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;
I pleaded for my future
All through the moonlight ride,
Until our weary horses
Drew closer side by side.

Ten miles from Ryan's Crossing
And five 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 Mary home.

Now still down Reedy River
The grassy she-oaks sigh;
The water holes still mirror
The pictures in the sky;
The golden sand is drifting
Across the rocky bars;
And over all for ever
Go sun and moon and stars.

But of the hut I builded
There are no traces now,
And many rains have levelled
The furrows of my plough
The glad bright days have vanished;
For sombre branches wave
Their wattle-blossom golden
Above my Mary's grave.

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