Dorothea Mackellar


Dive in from the sunlight smiting like a falchion
    Underneath the awnings to the sudden shade,
Saunter through the packed lane
                                Many-voiced, colourful,
Rippling with the currents of the south and eastern trade.

Here are Persian carpets, ivory, and peachbloom,
    Tints to fill the heart of any child of man;
Here are copper rose-bowls,
                                Leopard-skins, emeralds,
Scarlet slippers curly-toed and beads from Kordofan.

Water-sellers pass with brazen saucers tinkling,
    Hajjis in the doorways tell their amber beads;
Buy a lump of turquoise,
                                A scimitar, a neckerchief
Worked with rose and saffron for a lovely lady’s needs?

Here we pass the goldsmiths, copper-, brass-, and silversmiths,
    All a-clang and jingle, all a-glint and gleam;
Here the silken webs hang,
                                Shimmering, delicate,
Soft-hued as an afterglow and melting as a dream.

Buy a little blue god brandishing a sceptre,
    Buy a dove with coral feet and pearly breast;
Buy some ostrich-feathers,
                                Silver shawls, perfume-jars,
Buy a stick of incense for the shrine that you love best.