Welcome to Poetry.com

Poetry.com is a huge collection of poems from famous and amateur poets from around the world — collaboratively published by a community of authors and contributing editors.

Navigate through our poetry database by subjects, alphabetically or simply search by keywords. You can submit a new poem, discuss and rate existing work, listen to poems using voice pronunciation and even translate pieces to many common and not-so-common languages.

The Swamp

Roderic Quinn 1867 (Surry Hills, New South Wales) – 1949 (Darlinghurst, New South Wales)

FOR one whole day and a long night through
We made our camp
In a she-oak grove by a coastal swamp.
Our tent gleamed white in the she-oak trees,
Whose falling hair
Made a soft, brown mist in the sweet blue air.
A sound subdued from their tresses rose —
A moan, a sigh
As of unseen seas, when the breeze went by.
'Twas wattle-time, and the scented bloom,
New lit and young,
In a mass of gold from the still trees hung.
There music dwelt, and a splendour moved
Through all the day
From the green of dawn to the twilight gray.
For careless ever, like one who goes
Where Joyance leads,
Sang the little reed-bird in the tall, green reeds.
Blue, swift and slender the dragonflies
A-hawking flew,
And a hawk hung poised in the burning blue.
A crane, slow-flapping its great wings, passed
Across the scene,
And a parrot jewelled the leafy screen.
In twos and threes from the hills around
The peewits came,
And the brush-flower burnt like a crimson flame.
On ti-tree trunk and on frond and log
The lizards slept,
While the sun moved west, and the shadows crept.
The sun moved west, and the tall hills sent
Broad shadows east,
And the reed-bird's song in the reed-beds ceased.
Then fell a hush, and within that hush
Rose, clear and shrill,
A cicada note on a distant hill.
A note of farewell, it seemed to us,
Its singing bore;
And the night came down, and it sang no more.
Night came with shadows and fitful gleams
And mist and damp,
And our fire burned red by the coastal swamp.
Then life not known of the daytime woke —
That life that preys
On the feathered things of the leafy ways.
We heard feet moving, and velvet wings
On swamp and height,
And a dingo howling across the night.
As, faces lit by the red camp-fire,
We mused enthralled.
Like a lone, lost spirit a curlew called;
Brown crickets sang in the moisty mould,
And every breeze
Drew a moaning note from the she-oak trees.
And all night long, as they swayed and moaned,
Strange fancies woke,
And we could not rest for the things they spoke.
Thus much and more through the hours we saw;
Thus much we heard
In that place of blossom and tree and bird.
Since then gold wattles have bloomed and bloomed,
And moons aloft
In the sky have wizened and waned full oft.
And yet, at times, when the night is still,
In dreams I tramp
Through the white sand-dunes to that coastal camp.

Rate this poem:(0.00 / 0 votes)
Font size:
Collection  Edit     
 

Submitted on May 13, 2011

2:11 min read
116 Views

Roderic Quinn

Roderic Joseph Quinn was an Australian poet. more…

All Roderic Quinn poems | Roderic Quinn Books

FAVORITE (0 fans)

Discuss this Roderic Quinn poem with the community:

0 Comments

    Translation

    Find a translation for this poem in other languages:

    Select another language:

    • - Select -
    • 简体中文 (Chinese - Simplified)
    • 繁體中文 (Chinese - Traditional)
    • Español (Spanish)
    • Esperanto (Esperanto)
    • 日本語 (Japanese)
    • Português (Portuguese)
    • Deutsch (German)
    • العربية (Arabic)
    • Français (French)
    • Русский (Russian)
    • ಕನ್ನಡ (Kannada)
    • 한국어 (Korean)
    • עברית (Hebrew)
    • Gaeilge (Irish)
    • Українська (Ukrainian)
    • اردو (Urdu)
    • Magyar (Hungarian)
    • मानक हिन्दी (Hindi)
    • Indonesia (Indonesian)
    • Italiano (Italian)
    • தமிழ் (Tamil)
    • Türkçe (Turkish)
    • తెలుగు (Telugu)
    • ภาษาไทย (Thai)
    • Tiếng Việt (Vietnamese)
    • Čeština (Czech)
    • Polski (Polish)
    • Bahasa Indonesia (Indonesian)
    • Românește (Romanian)
    • Nederlands (Dutch)
    • Ελληνικά (Greek)
    • Latinum (Latin)
    • Svenska (Swedish)
    • Dansk (Danish)
    • Suomi (Finnish)
    • فارسی (Persian)
    • ייִדיש (Yiddish)
    • հայերեն (Armenian)
    • Norsk (Norwegian)
    • English (English)

    Citation

    Use the citation below to add this poem to your bibliography:

    Style:MLAChicagoAPA

    "The Swamp" Poetry.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2021. Web. 20 Jun 2021. <https://www.poetry.com/poem/32982/the-swamp>.

    We need you!

    Help us build the largest poetry community and poems collection on the web!

    Browse Poetry.com

    Quiz

    Are you a poetry master?

    »
    What is the term for the continuation of a sentence without a pause beyond the end of a line, couplet, or stanza.
    • A. Dithyramb
    • B. Line break
    • C. Enjambment
    • D. A turn

    Our favorite collection of

    Famous Poets

    »