Tag Archives: John Shaw Neilson

Native Companions Dancing by John Shaw Neilson

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On the blue plains in wintry days
   These stately birds move in the dance.
Keen eyes have they, and quaint old ways
On the blue plains in wintry days.
The Wind, their unseen Piper, plays,
   They strut, salute, reatreat, advance;
On the blue plains, in wintry days,
   These stately birds move in the dance.

Collected Poems of John Shaw Neilson, 1934

Source:  60 Classic Australian Poems edited by Christopher Cheng, Random House, 2009.
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Song of the Yellow by John Shaw Neilson

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How shall a poor man sing
When all the birds compete?
With young Love scarlet ripe
‘O yellow, yellow sweet!
They have come out to pipe:
O yellow, yellow, yellow, yellow, yellow, yellow sweet!’

How shall a cool man sing?
He shall not find the heat;
These foresters take up
Gold of the honey-cup,
And chime on ‘Yellow sweet!
O yellow, yellow, yellow, yellow, yellow, yellow sweet!’

The impatient apricot
Says, ‘Now remember not
Songs of a sorrow, sing
Loud to each living thing
Here in the loving heat:
O yellow, yellow, yellow, yellow, yellow, yellow sweet!’

How shall a dull man sing?
Shall he the darkness cheat?
The birds to heaven climb
In the full summer-time
And cry on ‘Yellow sweet!
O yellow, yellow, yellow, yellow, yellow, yellow sweet!’

Source: The ABC Book of Australian Poetry: a treasury for young people compiled by Libby Hathorn (ABC Books 2010)