The Dead Lagoon

Year: 1895

by Francis Kenna   

Never glint of sunlight settles
On its walls of granite grey;
Dreary, in the glow of sunset;
Gloomy, in the rising day.

Never echo wakes the stillness,
Singing birds or ripping rills;
Waveless in its lonely hollow,
In its circling, granite hills.

Never wing of sportive wildfowl
Splashes 'neath the silver moon,
On the black unfathomed waters
Of the dismal Dead Lagoon.

Charmed circle, void of vesture,
Flowering shrub or clinging vine;
Waters void of cooling lilies,
Rocky slopes, of hardy pine.

Never comes the lonely swagman,
Here to quench his thirsty pangs;
Never comes the prowling dingo,
Here to cleanse his gory fangs.

In his firelit camp at night-time,
While the winds are blowing wild,
Oft the dusky native father
Sitting by his trembling child,

Sings the legend, raught with terror,
In a dreary chanting croon,
Of the shunned and dreaded region,
Round about the Dead Lagoon.

Pictures shapes, uncouth, distorted,
Sporting there at midnight hours,
Rending night with sounds of horror,
Cries of fell unearthy powers.

Faster speeds the traveller onward
At the closing of the day,
Resting not his wayworn footsteps,
Till beyond those hills of grey;

Fearful of the lowering darkness,
And the dread unearthly moans,
O'er that pool of stagnant water,
With its cold encircling stones.


Hasten onward, weary traveller,
Bodeful night is coming soon,
Pray to God it may not find thee,
Near the dismal Dead Lagoon.

                        Francis Kenna (1895)

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