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THE LIBRARY

OF

THE UNIVERSITY

OF CALIFORNIA

LOS ANGELES



Rustling Leaves




^ij^A^i^



SELECTED POEMS

by
E. COUNGEAU



WILLIAM BROOKS & COMPANY, LIMITED

Printers and Publishers

17 Castlereagh Street, S^'diiey

1920



CONTENTS.

PACE

Le Rol Est Mort - . - 5

To Australia . - - - - 5

Peace - - - - 7

To Selene 8

Hope 8

The Immortals - - - - 9

If I Might Choose - - - 10

Queensland Pioneers - - 11

Aurora - - - - n

Ibrahim Pasha — Albanian

War Song 12

"The King" 13

Isodore - - - - 15

The Might Have Been - 16

The Haunted Chair - - - 17

A Lonely Grave - - - - 19

In Memoriam: Captain

Scott and his Comrades

who Perished in Antar-

tica 20

Loss of the "Yongala" - 20

The Loss of the "Titanic" 21

The Brotherhood of Man - 22

A Song of Australia - - 22

Life's Duty 23

Australia's Destiny - - - 24

To a Child 25

Cleveland, Q. 25

The Seven Ages of "Woman 26

Evolution - 28

To the Rose 28

The Voice of Song - - - 29

Austral's Heroes - - - - 30
The Glasshouse Mountains,

Que'ensland - - - 31

Love's Reverie - - - - 32

Remember - - - 32

The Quest - - - 33

The Jacaranda - - - - 34

The Weavers - - - 35

Where All Is Understood - 36
The City of the "Violet

Crown" - - - 36

Dreams .. - - . 38

The Muse - 38

An Australian Reverie - 40
In Memoriam: Bishop

Webber 41



PAGE

What Is Man? - - - - 42

God's Gift 43

The Blue M o u n t a in s,

N.S.W. 44

Vale! St. Ebbar - - - - 45

Autumn - - - - 45

The Poet Laureate: Alfred

Austin - - - 46

The Temple of the Years 48

Because of Thee - - - 48

The Voice of the Wind - 49

The Exile 50

Youth and Age - . - - 51

Australia to the Empire

Mother - - - 51

The Ladder Years - - - 54

At Eventide - - - 55

Imagination - - - 56

The Aftermath - - - - 56

To Sleep 58

Mount Tambourine,

Queensland - - - 58

Alienation - - - 59

At Night 60

The Wattle - - - 61

Austral's Song - - . - 62

I Know Not - - - 63

Mobillte . - ..- 63

Music - - - - 64

The Tale of the Great

White Plains - - - . 65

Aurelle - 67

An Australian Hymn - - 67
The Legend of Osyth's

Wood 68

Kosciusko, New South

Wales 70

The Palace of Peace - - 71
Mount Gambler, South Aus-
tralia - 73

Withered Flowers - - - 74

So Long Ago - - - 74

England - - - - 75

Solitude 77

Echo 78

The Great Desideratum - 78

Life's Song 80



ia2380S



CONTENTS— Continued.

PAGE

The Barron Falls, Que€-ns-

land - - - - 80

The Red Cross Knights - 82

Pearls - - - - 82

Cross and Crown - - - 83

The Heirlooms - - - - 84

Only for Thou and Me - 85

Oh! Ask Me Not - - - 86

The Temple of Fate - - 87

The Southern Cross - - 88

Nature 88

There was a Time - - - 89
In Loving Memory of Mrs.

Cowlishaw - - - go
The Rosebud: To Minnie

Markwell 91

The Vision of Croesus - 91

Lilies - 93

The Land of Dreams - - 94

Poetry 95

To the Sunflower - - - 96

The Price' of Conquest - 96

The Last Post - - - - 98

The Gordian Knot - - - 98

The Empty Bowl - - - 101

In Memoriam — Gallipoli - 101

The Silent "World - - - 102

Beauty's Eyes . . - - 103

Wher'er I Walk - - - - 104

Byzantium - - - 105

The Juggernaut - - - - 107

Thought 108

Cavell— Martyr, 1915 - - 108

Dry Bones - 109

Princess Mona - - . - m

A Southern Night - - - 112

The Silent Witnesses - - 113

The Sentinels - - - - 115



PAGE

Wirajuri - - - us

Pax - - 117

"Lest We F" o r g e t"—

Gallipoli 119

To Shakespeare - - - - 120

The Wardens - - - 121

The Story of Anzac - - 121

Romanus - - - 123

Damascus - - - 125

The Fie'ld-Marshal - - - 127

Ad Glorium— 1918 - - - 128

The Web of Destiny - - 129

Silver and Black - - - 130

The Garden of Souls - - 132

Can We Forget? - - - 133

The Return— 1919— '20. - - 133

La France— 1917 - - - - 134

Fiat Justitia 135

The Heart of France - - 137

Shadow Shapes - - - - 137

Chanson d' Amour - - - - 139

The Burden of Earth - - 140

In Memoriam — Emerson - 142

Mother - - - - 143

Evening at Brlbie Island - 144

The Deathless Dead, 1919 - 145

Earth, 1920 146

The Spirit's Quest - - - 147

Gallipoli 148

Dewdrops - - - 149

Be Not Weary in Well-

Doing 149

Auster's Love Song - - - 150

The City of the Purple

Hills 151

Voices 152

Forest Maiden - - - 153



RUSTLING LEAVES



LE ROI EST MORT .

A nation's soul had hung with bated breath
Upon two fateful words: 'Twas Life or Death.

The King is dead!
Low lies that royal head; Death's seal is pressed on

that cold marble brow,
Free from all sorrow now. He is at rest:

The King is dead!
And she, whom he adored, is stricken low;
Nor tears, nor loving words, avail him now.

The King is dead!
Swifter than morning light his soul hath
Winged its flight beyond the stars.

The King is dead!
Earth's nations bow the head in mutest grief
For this: The Royal dead who sleeps beneath yon
pall.

The King is dead!
Life's pageantry is o'er; nor pomp, nor cavalcades
disturb him more.

The King is dead!
Upon that stately bier reposeth now
All that remains so dear, whom millions knew.

The King is dead!
O Angels, waft him home!
O Lord of Life and Death,
Thy will be done!

The King is dead!
And yet, he lives again; his son doth
Him succeed!

God bless his reign!



TO AUSTRALIA .

Stella Australis! who with matchless grace
Riseth like Aphrodite from the ocean's foam,

With dawn resplendent in thx smiling face

And tresses flung to the wild breezes of thy home.

Brilliant the gems thy bosom fair adorning.
Rich run thy veins with golden treasure down;

Thy girdle formed of pearls fair as the morning,
The starry Southern Cross thj' peerless crown.



RUSTLING LEAVES



The silver rills thy rocky slopes o'erflowing,
The thunders of thy falls go rushing o'er

To join the tree-fringed rivers in their going
Down to the briny deep of Neptune's floor.

And Kosciusko towers in mighty solitude,
Poising its regal head toward the sky,

And 'mid the vast silence of its altitude

Views undisturbed the storm clouds passing by.

Thy subterranean rivers are unsounded,

The golden corn is quivering on thy plain,
Thy depths are stored with mineral wealth un-
bounded.
The fame of which hath crossed the sounding
main.

And thou dost stand, thine arms outstretched with
pleasure,

To greet thy friends from that dear Motherland,
To welcome thein and give them of thy treasure,

The wealth of ages which thou can'st command —

Of ages when thy central seas became

Haunts of primeval monsters of the deep;

When thy volcanoes belched their sulphurous flame
And covered all with an eternal sleep.

But thou art waking now, thou great Australis;

Thou art an empire of thy very self,
A trinity of oceans thee embraces,

z\nd crowns thee Empress of one commonwealth.

Oh, may our Empire-builders faithful be, i

Basing thy pillars' vast foundations' might
Firm on the rock of justice, truth, and liberty,
, Leading thy people upward to the light.



RUSTLING LEAVES



PEACE.

Would that I had the muse's lyre,
The poet's gift, and warm desire
To cleave the heights to glory's fame;
From mountain pinnacles proclaim —
Peace, universal peace.

I'd string my lute, and make the chords
Echo my heart's deep burning words;
And bid the nations contemplatively
To vibrate to the grandest harmony —
The song of peace.

For nations rise, and nations fall;
Battles are fought, and over all
Death's wings, their shadows darkness spread
With woe and terror, fraught with dread
To all mankind.

Where are the ruins of magnificence
Which the grim demon war has overthrown?
Where are the hanging gardens so immense
When Babylonian maids their glances threw
Upon their bloom?

Egypt and Carthage, Greece and Rome have passed
In long procession down the stream of Time;
The sands of centuries o'er them are cast.
Gone are those mighty cities at whose shrine
Knelt luxury and vice.

And in their train came war with cruel knife.
Creating widows, pestilence and death;
And man against his brother in the strife
Fell 'neath the devastating monster's breath,
His blood the price.

Then speed the day when the white dove of peace,
With olive branch extended to the world,
Shall all unite in brotherhood to man,
With flag of universal love unfurled —
And war shall cease.



RUSTLING LEAVES



TO SELENE.

Pale queen of beauty, in thy cold abode
Lonely thou art, lonely thou e'er wilt be;

No sweet companion ever with thee rode
Along that trackless waste of vast immensity;

Or asked thee what dark secrets thou dost hold
In thy deep jagged craters, now so dead,

Which once with Vulcan's rage and mutterings bold.
Were filled with Jovian darts and thunders dread.

Thou art a soulless beauty, yet thy form

Reflects its softly glowing radiance!
And unborn millions yielding to thy charm

Will bask in blissful dreams of dalliance.

How many vows, dear, cold and proud Selene,

Hast thou seen plighted 'neath thy smiling face?

Hovv many broken hearts now rest serene
In their last slumber 'neath thy dwelling place?

We love thee for thy sweet insouciance.

Nor would we care to dwell without thy light.

Thy pallor doth thy loveliness enhance.
Adored and stately Lady of the Night.



HOPE.

I walked with joy: the path was smooth
And rose-strewn, for all things to youth
Seem beautiful; and in those childhood's days
Oft' would I wander dreaming down the ways
Which led into the grotto in the leafy wood,
Where chestnut trees and tall laburnums stood,
Waving their golden heads; and 'neath my feet
Cowslips, anemones, and bluebells sweet;
And past the statue of old "Time," so scarred,
Who, scythe in hand, in stonj' silence stared.
And the green sward, like velvet carpet, spread,
With the vast canopy of azure sky o'erhead.
And down the slope were deer with lustrous eye
And scliools of rooks would weary homeward fly



RUSTLING LEAVES



Across the lake the swans would graceful glide.

While we our dais}'^ chain would weave, beside

The bank where lay the water lilies white —

Where in our childish fancy dwelt a sprite.

Ah, me! those days returning nevermore!

But thoughts remain alone of those sweet hours of

yore.
I walked with grief. The way was rough and long.
TIic world was grey and gloomy, and the voice of

song
Was hushed. No longer did the silver tones of dear
Home voices with their music greet mine ear;
But sudden memory would sometimes ope a door,
And forms and faces, long since gone before,
Would force the poignant tears of grief to flow —
For those dear vanished friends of long ago.
I walked with Hope, who stretched a tender thread
And led me on and upward, past the dead
Dark days. Then did my captive spirit find
That disappointments and the years had sunk behind
The grandeur and the majesty sublime
Of higher thoughts, and hidden things of time,
And sweet communion of kindred souls
Without the mortal ban. as free as rolls
The ocean when in placid mood:
Or the pure air, pouring in joyous flood.
Piercing the veil of flesh to see some noble spirit in

its purity.
With lofty and exalted mien in calm serenity,
Making the common tasks a noble duty and a prayer.
Ascending to the skies, and placing there
A holy sacrifice — The altar place Heaven's throne —
^Making our Earth an Eden of our own.



THE IMMORTALS.

These are Immortals on whose brows are set
The chaplet of imperishable fame.
And round each figure of the saintly name

We fold the mantle of our deep regret.

Lo: how they throng within the holy shrine.
File upon file they come with stately tread,
And "ONE" with pierced hands and crowned head

Waits to receive them with a look Divine.

i)



RUSTLING LEAVES



IF I MIGHT CHOOSE.

If I might choose the home where I would dwell,
I'd choose to live where the long rolling swell
And murmuring voices of the sun-lit sea
Bring restful dreams and sweet tranquility.

If I might choose the flowers that I love best,
I'd choose the violet and the pansy, pressed
Against my wounded heart to ease its pain,
And stay the bitter tears which fall in vain.

If I might choose the songs which I would sing,
I'd choose the songs which breathe of gentle spring;
With thoughts of love and life, and flowers that

bloom,
And scatter fragrance after winter's gloom.

If I might choose the books o'er which I'd pore,
I'd choose the treasures rare of ancient lore
Where sages told of kingdoms come and gone.
And glorious heroes who had laurels won.

If I might choose the friends whom I could love,
I'd choose the friends who brave and true would

prove
In days of sadness and in daj-s of mirth,
Tried like fine leinpered s'eel, strong in its worth.

If I might choose the time when I could live,

In happiest mood, I'd choose the early eve

Of life, when feet could rest, and thoughts could

flow
Like gentle wavelets, rippling to and fro.

If I might choose the grave where I would lie,
I'd choose the forest depth, where symphony
Of winds would like ^olian harp-strings blend.
And sweetest solace to my spirit send.



10



RUSTLING LEAVES



QUEENSLAND PIONEERS.

The pens of Austral's sages shall in the misty future

dim. ■<

Write a grand record — Australia's national hymn
Of progress. And on the scroll of ages shall the

rhyme.
Inscribed and treasured be upon the shelf of Time —
Of pioneers' illustrious names, who fought so l:)rave
Against barbaric nature, and who found a grave
In the lone bush, and on the burning sand,
Fighting the King of Terrors, with no loving hand
To pillow soft their dying head, or wipe Death's

dew
From their damp forehead ere the tortured spirit

grew
Fainter and weaker still, till all was o'er;
And naught but their great names for evermore
Remain. Such heroes hath Australia given to be
The graven ba.=^ic landmarks of her dynasty.
When mighty cities on her verdant shore shall rise
And teemJng millions dwell beneath her skies.
Her starry standard, ever white, unsoiled shall be
Urging her onward towards her glorious destiny.



AURORA.

Night's veil is lifting, and Aurora's fingers

Unfold her robe which sheds o'er earth and sea

Its pink and golden sheen, and gently lingers
To touch with light divine each flower and tree.

Then deeper glows her train of crimson splendour
Across the skies, and dims the morning star.

And filmy opalescence, soft and tender,

Trace paths of gleaming glory spreading far.

Hark! Silver-throated choristers awaken,

Chanting their matins to the listening sky,

And glistening dew the leafy buds hath shaken
From slumber but to bloom more sweetly shy.

Lo! Helios springs, and fair Aurora's blushes
Pale 'neath the orbs of his effulgent light.

One soft salute — the lovely goddess flushes.
Then silently she disappears from sight.

11



RUSTLING LEAVES



IBRAHIM PASHA— Albanian War Song.

The voices of the Heralds, repeated by the echoes
From the mountain-tops to the depths of the
Valleys, are calling all good patriots to arms.
Those heroes so proud and intrepid who will
Never again see their native hearth imtil covered
With glory, bearing their trophies of victory. They
will return or die.



Thus they will assemble around their chiefs;
Their silver-mounted arms, their burnished
Swords flashing resplendent in the sun.
The gun, faithful companion of all Albanians,
Must be placed in the hands of every youth who
Has attained three times the age of five j^ears.

They must, like a furious torrent, rush precipitantly
Towards the danger which menaces them.
Our dear country is in peril. The enemy hides
His designs, and sends ambassadors; but behind
Them are the chains with which they will bind
LTs should they attain their desires;
They will make us serfs, slaves, for such is their
intention.

And shall we calmly await such dishonour?
What is death to us? Does not the memory
Of our forefathers rise and reproach us for our
Indolence and lack of courage?
Our dear country is the Mother who nourished
Our children, and who inspires us to loyal and
Pure sentiments, and filial love. Shall we not
Tlien shed our blood for our country?

Hark! bitter cries are borne on the wings of the
North wind. The dust whirling in nebulous globes
Announces the coming march of an army.
It is the thirty-thousand Albanians of Scutari march-
ing to meet the enemy.
But see! Who is this mounted officer approaching.
Bearing himself with such dignity and repose of
Mien; yet who withal can inspire such terror?
He of colossal stature, with eagle glance, who
With uplifted sword leads on to battle.

12



RUSTLING LEAVES



This is Ibrahim Pasha, most illustrous of
Warriors, distinguished as much for his virtue as for

his courage.
Advance, then, ye Bosnians, ye RoumeliansI
Asiatics, all of ye. We fear you not, though
Ye were thrice as numerous. We shall be victorious;
Death to us is nought.



The carnage is terrible, Amhed succumbs,
And there with their great general lie the
Brave dead of the Ottoman army.
The rage of the combatants ceases suddenly.
A panic seems to liave seized them. The
Ottoman troops take flight. Tliey are overcome by
fear.



Why do they depart? Rather they should remain
And learn of the valour and prowess of the

Albanians.
Their brilliant standards are mingled with
Those of the victors. They are trophies, spoils of
The enemy, abandoned upon the held of battle.
Return we now to the bosom of our families.
Welcome us (youths and husbands) who desire
To rest after the heat of the battle. And, oh
Faithful wives, we will teach our children to
Follow in our footsteps and imitate our courage.



"THE KING."



Australia's flag floats on the breeze,

On this the Coronation day.
FrO'm torrid zones to zones that freeze.

Old England still doth wield her sway.

So to our king with loyal hearts
We lift our loving cup and say

"Be as thy sire — :\. man of parts —
In the great drama thou must play."



13



RUSTLING LEAVES



He hath not asked to be a King;

The destinies decreed it so.
Then forth the royal mantle bring,

And press the crown on regal brow!

Australia with her pride of race;

The younger Empire's daughter fair
The sea-king's child of gentle face —

Noble and strong to do and dare.

Whose ties of blood far stronger are
Cementing freedom's civil rights

Than bands of steel or iron bar —
A constitution strong in might —

Swears her allegiance to thy throne,
And sacred person by the sign

Of her own virtue, fervent grown,
In love of liberty divine.

A race distinctive she hath bred,
Offspring of high unsullied name;

And down the centuries her tread
Shall never bend to servile fame.

Her sons, within her ramparts grim,
Watch in her rocky coat of mail;

Chivalrous, strong and lithe of limb —
Read}', should foe their land assail.

Well doth she know the hour must come,
When boom of cannon, clash of spear,

And martial music, sound of drum,
Announce to all "the foe is near."

And in her hands she holds the keys;

I hear her footsteps at the gate —
The Eastern Gate — of Eastern Seas.

O'er which shall ride her ships of state.

When Western Empires disappear
As lost Lemuria in the myths

Of ages, Austral still will bear
Her story in her ]\Ionolitlis.



14



RUSTLING LEAVES



JSODORE.



Once upon a night so dreary

I was seated all alone
In my sanctum, sad and weary,

All my heart was turned to stone.

And the rain fell, never ceasing.
While the wind with angry roar

Howled against the leaden casements.
As it ne'er had done before.

And my soul was filled with sorrow
For my lost and lonely bride;

I had gained her, but to lose her,
Isodore, my joy and pride.

Ah! I felt so sorely wounded,
I should see her nevermore.

For pale death had swiftly borne her
To that misty, silent shore.

In her bridal robe we laid her.
Clasped her gems o'er filmy lace.

With her golden tresses streaming
Round about her saintly face.

So my thoughts were ever trending
To my darling's lonely grave.

While the firelight threw its shadows.
And the tears mj' cheeks did lave.

Sudden, came a thrill of terror —
As a long despairing moan

Smote mj^ ear, from out the casement,
Where the elder tree had grown.

Fearful, oped I wide the windov,-.
Where, with lantern gleaming red.

Stood my dearest Isodore,
Or her spirit from the dead.



15



RUSTLING LEAVES



Then she spoke in voice quite human,
■' 'Tis your own, j^our Isodore;"

Quickly I unbarred the portal
As she prone sank to the floor.

'Twas no vision; she was mortal.

And her tale she slowly told;
Plow the wicked sexton robbed her,

As she lay in coffin cold.

He had hacked her slender fingers

To secure the rings so rare;
She, from cataleptic slumber

Woke, and saw his lantern there.

Then the sexton, ghastly gazing,
Dropped his booty there and fled.

Little thinking, he, in robbing,
Gave me back my precious dead.

Happy years have we together

Spent, my Isodore and I;
And no more I pensive ponder,

Lonely when the night winds sigli.

NOTE. — A true story of the old family of " The Penaires
of Pcnairie " — Cornish.



THE MIGHT HAVE BEEN.

When we in silence stand upon the shore
Of that uncompassed vastitude, the sea,

And view the sunset with its flaming ore,
Embossing heaven in wondrous imagery.

Emotional, with our swiftly surging thought.

With breathless awe on the fair scene we gaze.

And weave in fancy glorious galleons wrought
In matchless beauty, gleaming in the maze.

And thus our hopes and dreams of the ideal
Are graven on Life's many tinted screen,

The bold relief we cherish is not real,

But pictures only what we "might have been."



RUSTLING LEAVES



THE HAUNTED CHAIR .

One of a large house party, on a frosty Christmas

Eve,
The conversation led to ghosts in which some folks

believe.
"I wish this house were haunted," cried a lady young

and gay;
"I'd shut myself within its gloom, and none should

say me nay."
Our host informed us gravely that up the broad

oak stair
Was a sealed and disused chamber, which owned

a haunted chair.
His grandfather long years before was missing from

his bed;
They searched and found him sitting within the

arm-chair — dead.
His wealth had been proverbial, but no one found

a will;
And though in manner sometimes strange, no one

had wished him ill.
■"The secret never had been solved," our host said,

"nor a trace
Of aught remained, except the land, and this an-
cestral place."
" 'Tis done," the lady said; "to-night I sleep in that

arm-chair.
And if his ghost appears to me, I'll never show

my fear."
That night the lady went and sat within tlie

chamber dim;
She drew the curtain, chose a book, and read a

Christmas hymn.
And then a fear possessed her, she grasped the huge

arm-chair,
For in the shadows she could see a man with

whitened hair.
His hands were clasped above him in suppliant

attitude.
And tears were streaming down like rain, while

words in torrent flowed:
*"I had a brother once, a bov. I loved him as my

life,
But he destroyed my happiness, he stole my

promised wife.

17



RUSILING LEAVES



We parted, he to Anstral's land, I for long years

to mourn.
Until his widow sought me out to aid her infant

son.
We married, and I brought him up, but he my

wealth desired;
I hid it here, for of this youth with fear was I

inspired.
Who'er shall find this secret, as my will doth so

declare.
Shall take the half, and all the rest the poor shall

have a share;
And Christ reward the hand that finds, and does

this Christian deed.
For He hath said unto His f^ock, 'See that my

lambs ye feed,"
She rose Avith awe, he beckoned her, the chair

began to creak;
He pressed two large brass nails which lay beneath

the leather back.
And there inside the haunted chair were heaps and

heaps of gold.
And papers tied with tapes, and strings, and dusty

parchments old.
Her dream she told that Christmas morn, the

haunted chair was brought —
A fearful weight it was to move, 'twas well and

truly wrought —
At length with pressure brought to bear the nails

began to move.
When there disclosed to light of day, lay the old

man's treasure-trove.
The lady won't believe in ghosts, but she believes

in dreams.
And also that this lovely world is better than it

seems.
To-day we are the owners of the ancient haunted

chair —
And clasping Christmas presents my wife is seated

there.



18



RUSTLING LEAVES



A LONELY GRAVE.

Somewhere it lies near the gleaming bay,
On the Redhmd road with its winding waj'-
Through the bush — where a fence in a lonely spot
Surrounds a grave in its hallowed plot.


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