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Moonlight (1935)

(By C. R. E. Grainger)

Quite gaily the crickets are singing,
And cow bells are heard in the glen.
The tired team horses are stringing,
And Mopokes are calling again.
The doves in the branches are cooing,
A squirrel sings loud of his love;
The little bush creatures are wooing,
And pigeons are crooning above.

The moon o'er the hilltops is sailing.
Dark shadows have taken their flight;
The voice of a song bird is trailing
And blending with voices of night.
The peace of the forest is stealing
To chase all our sorrows away;
With night comes a light-hearted feeling
To banish the cares of the day.

Sweet odours the air is perfuming--
On soft wayward breezes they come;
Wild flowers around us are blooming
With blossom, on blackbut and gum
The maiden creeps out of her dwelling,
The boy on a ramble will start--
On, strange is the music that's swelling
And striking the chords of each heart.

Whenever the moonlight is streaming
The innermost voices are heard;
The sage and the poet sit dreaming,
The blood of the hermit is stirred.
A swagman who sleeps in a stable
Is moved by a feeling unknown;
A drudge who is scrubbing a table
Will walk down the valley alone.

Some primitive instinct is leading
The fox far away from his den;
The voice of the lover is pleading--
The drover jogs homewards again
Fresh voices are rising and falling
To join with the owl and the coot;
The voice of the forest is calling--
Is calling to man and to brute.

The moonlight a mantle is flinging
The gate to all nature's ajar,
With bells at long intervale ringing
When cattle have travelled afar.
We pause at the crossings and bridges.
To list to a wonderful song--
Then wander o'er gullies and ridges
Where scent from the blossoms is strong.

O solitude where is thy dwelling.
And loneliness where is thy sting,
When music in volumes is swelling
And voices of nature still sing.
The prophets the poets, and sages
Will bow to the goddess of night,
And right till the end of the ages
Of her glory and beauty will write.


From the NSW Newspaper the The Cessnock Eagle and South Maitland Recorder Friday 15 November 1935 p. 8.


australian traditional songs . . . a selection by mark gregory