The Filling of the Swamps

Hurrah for the storm clouds sweeping
Hurrah for the driving rain
The dull earth out of her sleeping
Is wakened to life again
There are mirrors of crystal shining
Whenever the cloud wrack breaks
And grass clad banks are twining
A wreath for the fairy lakes
Lakes that are links in an endless chain
For the water is out in the swamps again

Hurrah for the red gums standing
So high on the range above
Hurrah for the she oaks bending
So low to the wave they love
Hurrah for the reed stems slender
Hurrah for the shade they fling
For the curve of the cygnet’s splendour
The sheen of the black duck’s wing
Hurrah for the clouds and the glorious rain
The water is out in the swamps again

Hurrah for the laughing water
The songs that the streamlets sing
Whish, the teal duck’s mate has sought her
With a stroke of his mottled wing
Hurrah for the deepening shallows
The ibises eagle eyed
The dash of the purple swallows
To bury their breasts in the tide
Woe it is woe to the drought king’s reign
The water is out in the swamps again.

William Ogilvie