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Above Lavender Bay
Henry Lawson


’Tis glorious morning everywhere
Save where the alleys lie, 

I see the fleecy steam jets bid
“Good morning” to the sky.
The gullies of the waratah
Are near, with fall and pool,
And by the shadowed western rocks
The bays are fresh and cool.
To “points” that hint of Italy, 
Of Italy and Spain, 
I see the busy ferry boats
Come nosing round again.
To the toy station down below
I see the toy trains run, 
(I wonder when those ferry boats

Will get their business done?)

Above the Bay called Lavender
This bard is domiciled,
Where up through rich, dark greenery
The red-tiled roofs are piled, 
(At least some are, I hope that soon
They all shall be red-tiled), 
A moonlight night in middle-age
That makes one feel a child.

Close over, to the nearer left, 
That feels the ocean breeze, 
A full moon in a dim blue sky
A church spire and dark trees.
And, further right, the harsher heights
Of Mosman, Double Bay,
And Rose Bay, with their scattered lights,
Have softened with the day.

And fair across to where we know
The shelving sea cliffs are, 
The lighthouse, with a still faint glow,
Beneath a twinkling star.
Across the harbour from the right,
And fairly in a line,
The Clock-tower on the City Hall,
A ship-mast and a pine.

The pale and bright, yet dusky blue,
And crossed by fleecy bars,
Flings out the brilliant city lights,
The moonlight and the stars, 
And like a transformation scene,
On sheet glass down below,
The fairy-lighted ferry boats
Are gliding to and fro.

This poem is in the public domain.    


Henry Lawson (1867 - 1922) was born in New South Wales but moved to Sydney as a teenager. Deaf from the age of fourteen due to damage from an ear infection, he was an avid reader who began publishing poetry at the age of twenty. Henry wrote nonfiction and short stories as well as poetry, using Australia’s bush country and rural residents as a theme for much of his work; this focus earned him a reputation akin to some of America's "cowboy poets."  One of Australia’s most celebrated writers during his lifetime, Henry’s chronic financial problems and alcohol abuse kept his personal life in turmoil, but he was much beloved by his countrymen, and his death was marked with a state funeral attended by thousands of mourners.


Post New Comment:
From childhood memories and back again to present reality reflection. Lovely!
Posted 07/25/2016 04:40 PM
The title... Lavender Bay delivers a good poem/visual.Thanks,Jayne.
Posted 07/25/2016 06:51 AM
Another very enjoyable poem. Thank you Jayne, I'll have to look for more ofhenry Lawson's work.
Posted 07/25/2016 03:43 AM

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