Verse > Anthologies > Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. > A Victorian Anthology, 1837–1895
Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. (1833–1908).  A Victorian Anthology, 1837–1895.  1895.
Beneath the Wattle Boughs
Frances Tyrrell Gill
THE WATTLES were sweet with September’s rain,
We drank in their breath and the breath of the spring:
“Our pulses are strong with the tide of life,”
I said, “and one year is so swift a thing!”
The land all around was yellow with bloom,        5
The birds in the branches sang joyous and shrill,
The blue range rose ’gainst the blue of the sky,
Yet she sighed, “But death may be stronger still!”
Then I reached and gathered a blossomy bough,
And divided its clustering sprays in twain,        10
“As a token for each” (I closed one in her hand)
“Till we come to the end of the year again!”
Then the years sped on, strung high with life;
And laughter and gold were the gifts they gave,
Till I chanced one day on some pale dead flowers,        15
And spake, shaking and white, “One more gift I crave.”
“Nay,” a shadow voice in the air replied,
“’Neath the blossoming wattles you ’ll find a grave!”


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