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The Spike or Victoria University College Review

The Rushes

page 16

The Rushes

From out the spongy bottom of the bog
Confining hills have pressed a tardy flow,
And left the rich bed where the rushes grow,
Amongst a wilderness of moss and log.

Long years have they unshaken stations kept,
Since wearied of its cradle mountain-walled,
The river fled where wider prospects called,
In whose deserted bed the marshes slept.

From gray seas gathered dank nor westers moan
And racing pipe in tuneful threnodies
And pausing catch the marshes low replies,
The rustling of the rushes monotone.

While drought-girt summer moves through torried noons
From barren places come the panting beasts
Athirst for water brooks and shaded feasts,
Denied them where all other pasture swoons.

Or when the Winter weaves his frozen spell
The silent spaces o'er, a Starlight cold
Reveals the ghostly bog shapes manifold
When hover round the spot, its guardians fell.

Ringed round the murky margin of the lake,
Stark as a corpse the rushes fearful gaze,
Till early Phosphor in his zeal essays
To call them from their stupor to awake.

For me they hold associations dear,
Whose fancy round them oft did range at will:
Who watched them many-mooded, and would still
To praise them, pen my line in later year.