A Queensland Summer Night

Year: 1883
                                     by 'Vileyse' (1883)

There is much beauty in a woodland scene
In England, when the changing leaflets fall;
Or when the fields are covered with a screen
Of gentle snow that spreads its stainless pall
Over the dying year, and tower and wall
Gleam with a glory not their own:— it is
Kind Nature's province to be fair and bright;
Yet never saw I aught more fair than this—
The beauty of a Queensland summer night!

For then the breeze has gently sunk to rest,
And the great moon climbs swiftly up the sky,
The stars are mirrored on the river's breast,
Which, while the city slumbers, ripples by;
The air is soft and mild, a holy fear
Steals o'er my senses in this southern sphere,
Orion's belt gleams like a fiery boss
Set in the shield of heaven, and, less clear,
But mild and radiant, shines the Southern Cross.

There is an influence in the very air,
That is a stranger to our colder climes,
And makes me think of all things good and fair,
And dream of days gone by, and other times;
As, when in England, far-off village chimes
Steal on the ears of world-tossed weary men,
Who, hearing, pause, and all their early life,
And childhood's days, come back to them again,
And for a space they banish care and strife.

                                      'Vileyse' The Queenslander, 10 March 1883, p369

Compare this poem, to "Queensland Night' , published 60 years later.