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)