Image by Lachlan Fearnley – Brisbane on the Brisbane River.
The tall trees that once clothed the banks
Beneath which clear the waters streamed,
Where parrots bright in colours screamed
From mangroves by its sandy flanks;
And rocky bars by pools that gleamed
With flashing schools of swimming fish
Like silver clouds of weaving light.
Here none, in truth, could ever wish
For better than this peaceful sight
As simple men with nets and spears
Would gather all that nature gave
O’er centuries of wondrous years
Till each lay resting in his grave.
These thoughts I ponder as I stroll
Through this great city in the night,
Beneath the towering buildings bright,
And watch the spreading waves that roll
From ferry-boats that burn with light,
And wonder – has this place a soul
That yearns for those fair days now past
When man’s ways took a lesser toll
And Nature built a scene to last.
And could it come to pass one day,
In say a thousand years or so,
That man has found a better way
To use the gifts the gods bestow.