The Last of His Tribe
He crouches, and buries his face on his knees,
And hides in the dark of his hair;
For he cannot look up to the storm-smitten trees,
Or think of the loneliness there
Of the loss and the loneliness there.
The wallaroos grope through the tufts of the grass,
And turn to their coverts for fear;
But he sits in the ashes and lets them pass
Where the boomerangs sleep with the spear
With the nullah, the sling and the spear.
Uloola, behold him! The thunder that breaks
On the tops of the rocks with the rain,
And the wind which drives up with the salt of the lakes,
Have made him a hunter again
A hunter and fisher again.
For his eyes have been full with a smouldering thought;
But he dreams of the hunts of yore,
And of foes that he sought, and of fights that he fought
With those who will battle no more
Who will go to the battle no more.
It is well that the water which tumbles and fills,
Goes moaning and moaning along;
For an echo rolls out from the sides of the hills,
And he starts at a wonderful song
At the sound of a wonderful song.
And he sees, through the rents of the scattering fogs,
The corroboree warlike and grim,
And the lubra who sat by the fire on the logs,
To watch, like a mourner, for him
Like a mother and mourner for him.
Will he go in his sleep from these desolate lands,
Like a chief, to the rest of his race,
With the honey-voiced woman who beckons and stands,
And gleams like a dream in his face
Like a marvellous dream in his face?
The Last of His Tribe by Henry Kendall