(7 September 1876 - 22 June 1938 / Auburn, South Australia)

The Blue Kingfisher

Where the little river gleaming
Thro' its shadows green and cool
Broadens to the quiet dreaming
Of a little shady pool;
There an azure jewel burning
O'er the waters you may spy,
Never moving never turning:
'Tis the silent fisher,

Head aloft above the river,
With an apathetic air,
Not the smallest quirk nor quiver
Warns you of my presence there.
Mayhap you will thnk me sleeping -
Dreaming summer days away -
Till you mark a keen eye peeping
Where the tell-tale ripples play.

Now a dive, a sudden darting,
Now a flash of gold and blue,
And the placid waters parting
Let my gleaming body thro'.
Then, long ere the ripples, spreading,
Circle to the pool's green lip
Back to safety I am heading;
And the kill is in my grip.

So I haunt the cool, dark places
By the river, from that hour
When the dawn's bright finger traces
Fairy lights about my bower,
Till the western hilltops redden,
Fade, and vanish I am there,
And the far skies, growing leaden,
Bid me seek my secret lair.

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