Redcliffe, Humpy Bong

Year: 1883

by 'Villeyse'   

THERE is a long low strip of yellow sand 
Bound with a bracelet by the bounteous sea,
Of shining shells formed by some fairy hand,
And here the waves come tumbling bright and free, 
And on the left a rugged promontory:—
Unshaken by the seething surge's shocks, 
Here luscious oysters lurk among the rocks. 
The bay is bounded by a belt of trees,
That cluster at the cliff's capricious base 
Purple with prickly pears; a blessed breeze
Blows from the brine and cools the sun's fierce rays.
In such a spot, methinks, in other days
The syrens sat and sang as from the wave 
They lured the spell-bound mariner to his grave.

Yes, I can see them now with waving hair, 
Gazing with pensive eyes far out to sea; 
Never were mortal maidens seen so fair; 
Singing in sad, strange, sweet monotony
A song set to no mortal minstrelsy; 
And out at sea Ulysses and his men, 
And god-like Orpheus singing back again.

Alone of all men these escaped their wiles,
So runs the ancient story; since that time
How many have been wrecked by woman's smiles,
In every age, in every land and clime !
But these are subjects foreign to this rhyme, 
So, with a lingering look at that fair place,
I bid adieu to Redcliff for a space.

                                     'Vileyse' (The Queenslander, 28 April 1883, p649)