Page:Moyarra- An Australian Legend in Two Cantos, 1891.djvu/23

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17

MOYARRA

17

That raged within Muntookan's breast;
"So lightly prized! my love despised!
And who to me preferred? 'Twere best
He shun my path. The rifle bird4
To whom the serpent glides unheard,
Not surer rues the fatal spring
When vainly flaps its struggling wing
Than he shall rue the luckless hour
He trifled with Muntookan's power.
If curse availeth, mine shall cling
Worse than the soul's imagining.
Ye powers who rule the midnight air,5
Fell spirits! Hear, and grant my prayer!
His be the seared and lifeless heart
Jiist skilled to view its joys depart,
But sunk in hopelessness to save
Its dearest blossom from the grave;
Till nerveless, sapless as the oak
Scathed by the livid lightning stroke,
Fostering the canker which destroys.
His heart's core wither ere he dies."[1]


  1. When a man sunk into atrophy which the tribe could not account for, it was customary to attribute his destruction to the evil influence exerted against him by the magical arts of a wise man in a hostile tribe.