Verse > Anthologies > Walter Murdoch, comp. > The Oxford Book of Australasian Verse
Walter Murdoch (1874–1970).  The Oxford Book of Australasian Verse.  1918.
93. She comes as comes the Summer Night
By Frank S. Williamson
SHE comes as comes the summer night,
  Violet, perfumed, clad with stars,
To heal the eyes hurt by the light
  Flung by Day’s brandish’d scimitars.
The parted crimson of her lips        5
  Like sunset clouds that slowly die
When twilight with cool finger-tips
  Unbraids her tresses in the sky.
The melody of waterfalls
  Is in the music of her tongue,        10
Low chanted in dim forest halls
  Ere Dawn’s loud bugle call has rung.
And as a bird with hovering wings
  Halts o’er her young one in the nest,
Then droops to still his flutterings,        15
  She takes me to her fragrant breast.
O star and bird at once thou art,
  And Night, with purple-petall’d charm,
Shining and singing to my heart,
  And soothing with a dewy calm.        20
Let Death assume this lovely guise,
  So darkly beautiful and sweet,
And, gazing with those starry eyes,
  Lead far away my weary feet.
And that strange sense of valleys fair        25
  With birds and rivers making song
To lull the blossoms gleaming there,
  Be with me as I pass along.
Ah! lovely sisters, Night and Death,
  And lovelier Woman—wondrous three,        30
‘Givers of Life’, my spirit saith,
  Unfolders of the mystery.
Ah! only Love could teach me this,
  In memoried springtime long since flown;
Red lips that trembled to my kiss,        35
  That sighed farewell, and left me lone.
O Joy and Sorrow intertwined,—
  A kiss, a sigh, and blinding tears,—
Yet ever after in the wind,
  The bird-like music of the spheres!        40


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