Eurunderee [I]

Henry Lawson, 1891

      There are scenes in the distance where beauty is not,
      On the desolate flats where gaunt appletrees rot.
      Where the brooding old ridge rises up to the breeze
      From his dark lonely gullies of stringy-bark trees,
      There are voice-haunted gaps, ever sullen and strange,
      But Eurunderee lies like a gem in the range.

      Still I see in my fancy the dark-green and blue
      Of the box-covered hills where the five-corners grew;
      And the rugged old sheoaks that sighed in the bend
      O'er the lily-decked pools where the dark ridges end,
      And the scrub-covered spurs running down from the Peak
      To the deep grassy banks of Eurunderee Creek.

      On the knolls where the vineyards and fruit-gardens are
      There's a beauty that even the drought cannot mar;
      For I noticed it oft, in the days that are lost,
      As I trod on the siding where lingered the frost,
      When the shadows of night from the gullies were gone
      And the hills in the background were flushed by the dawn.

      I was there in late years, but there's many a change
      Where the Cudgegong River flows down through the range,
      For the curse of the town with the railroad had come,
      And the goldfields were dead. And the girl and the chum
      And the old home were gone, yet the oaks seemed to speak
      Of the hazy old days on Eurunderee Creek.

      And I stood by that creek, ere the sunset grew cold,
      When the leaves of the sheoaks are traced on the gold,
      And I thought of old things, and I thought of old folks,
      Till I sighed in my heart to the sigh of the oaks;
      For the years waste away like the waters that leak
      Through the pebbles and sand of Eurunderee Creek.