Three Trees at Solstice
Comes with autumn the spent moment,
When, polarized to stillness,
The soul thereafter waits on death
As oaks on winter
As oaks by winter water.
So stands the sun for springing and failing time;
And a life ending is less than a stream failing
Until, sunk deep in a white meander —
Black clouds come down like swans at brood,
And flows again the white water.
The silver tree of the stream
Fails not for the sea,
Nor for the thirst-hewn rocks of the valley;
But fails the red, bright tree
In each man’s breast—
Drooping to winter’s rest;
Fails the yellow tree
Of each day’s light—
Fails from sight,
Fails in the west.
A Book of Australian Verse edited by Judith Wright