Page:Life of John Boyle O'Reilly.djvu/694

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For others' eyes the glory of the shore
Where last I saw thee; but the senses faint

In soft delicious dreaming when they drain
Thy wine of color. Virgin fair thou art,
All sweetly fruitful, waiting with soft pain
The spouse who comes to wake thy sleeping heart.



WELL, mate, you've asked me about a fellow
You met to-day, in a black-and-yellow
Chain-gang suit, with a peddler's pack,
Or with some such burden, strapped to his back.
Did you meet him square? No, passed you by?
Well, if you had, and had looked in his eye.
You'd have felt for your irons then and there;
For the light in his eye is a madman' s glare.
Ay, mad, poor fellow! I know him well,
And if you're not sleepy just yet, I'll tell
His story,—a strange one as ever you heard
Or read; but I'll vouch for it, every word.

You just wait a minute, mate: I must see
How that damper's doing, and make some tea.
You smoke? That's good; for there's plenty of weed
In that wallaby skin. Does your horse feed
In the hobbles? Well, he's got good feed here,
And my own old bush mare wont interfere.
Done with that meat? Throw it there to the dogs,
And fling on a couple of banksia logs.

And now for the story. That man who goes
Through the bush with the pack and the convict's clothes