Reedy River

Henry Lawson, 1896

      Ten miles down Reedy River
             A pool of water lies,
      And all the year it mirrors
             The changes in the skies,
      And in that pool's broad bosom
             Is room for all the stars;
      Its bed of sand has drifted
             O'er countless rocky bars.

      Around the lower edges
             There waves a bed of reeds,
      Where water rats are hidden
             And where the wild duck breeds;
      And grassy slopes rise gently
             To ridges long and low,
      Where groves of wattle flourish
             And native bluebells grow.

      Beneath the granite ridges
             The eye may just discern
      Where Rocky Creek emerges
             From deep green banks of fern;
      And standing tall between them,
             The grassy sheoaks cool
      The hard, blue-tinted waters
             Before they reach the pool.

      Ten miles down Reedy River
             One Sunday afternoon,
      I rode with Mary Campbell
             To that broad bright lagoon;
      We left our horses grazing
             Till shadows climbed the peak,
      And strolled beneath the sheoaks
             On the banks of Rocky Creek.

      Then home along the river
             That night we rode a race,
      And the moonlight lent a glory
             To Mary Campbell's face;
      And I pleaded for my future
             All thro' that moonlight ride,
      Until our weary horses
             Drew closer side by side.

      Ten miles from Ryan's crossing
             And five below the peak,
      I built a little homestead
             On the banks of Rocky Creek:
      I cleared the land and fenced it
             And ploughed the rich red loam,
      And my first crop was golden
             When I brought Mary home.

      Now still down Reedy River
             The grassy sheoaks sigh,
      And the waterholes still mirror
             The pictures in the sky;
      And over all for ever
             Go sun and moon and stars,
      While the golden sand is drifting
             Across the rocky bars;

      But of the hut I builded
             There are no traces now.
      And many rains have levelled
             The furrows of the plough;
      And my bright days are olden,
             For the twisted branches wave
      And the wattle blossoms golden
             On the hill by Mary's grave.