Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE COROBBOREE (MIDNIGHT), by WILLIAM SHARP

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Classic and Contemporary Poetry

THE COROBBOREE (MIDNIGHT), by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Deep in the forest-depths the tribe
Last Line: The silent stars above the night.
Alternate Author Name(s): Macleod, Fiona
Subject(s): Aborigines, Australian; Australia; Death; Night; Singing & Singers; Dead, The; Bedtime

Deep in the forest-depths the tribe
A mighty blazing fire have made:
Round this they spring with frantic yells
In hideous pigments all arrayed --

One barred with yellow ochre, one
A skeleton in startling white,
There one who dances furiously
Blood-red against the great fire's light, --

With death's insignia on his breast,
In rude design, the swart chief springs;
And loud and long each echoes back
The savage war-cry that he sings.

Within the forest dark and dim
The startled cockatoos like ghosts
Flit to and fro, the mopokes scream;
And parrots rise in chattering hosts;

The gins and lubras crouch and watch
With eager shining brute-like eyes,
And ever and again shrill back
Wild echoes of the frantic cries: --

Like some infernal scene it is --
The forest dark, the blazing fire,
The ghostly birds, the dancing fiends,
Whose savage chant swells ever higher.

Afar away gaunt wild-dogs howl,
And strange cries vaguely call: but white
The placid moon sails on, and flame
The silent stars above the night.

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