Dorothea Mackellar

The Moon in the Morning

The moon is riding high, the stars are shining
    But very palely, through the clear blue light;
The plain is empty, and the circling mountains
    Rise cold and far through swathes of mist to-night.

There is no wind astir, the serried rushes
    Stand straight as lances round the glassed lagoon;
Within still waters grows a single lily,
    A great white flower of solitude, the moon.

My shadow that seemed taller than the mountains
    Lies gathered at my feet, a pool of ink,
And as I move towards the sombre reed-beds
    I watch it spill and trickle, spread and shrink.

Here in the moon-blanched pasture wide and silent
    With no voice waking and no foot astir
Save mine, the lovely sleeping night surrounds me
    And naught is real save the thought of her.

And yet the plain will wake to green and golden
    Within a few still hours; a breath will pass
Crisping the mirror-surface of the water;
    The larks will start up from the dewy grass;

The proud far sky will smile and grow more kindly;
    The gauzy wisps of cloud that float in it—
The small pale frightened clouds that cast no shadow
    Since they dim not the starshine as they flit—

Will mass to eastward like a host with banners,
    Dawn’s dazzling banners streaming out unfurled
Above the dayspring’s golden fountain welling
    Up from beneath the dark rim of the world.