Above the ashes straight and tall,
Through ferns with moisture dripping,
I climb beneath the sandstone wall,
My feet on mosses slipping.
Like ramparts round the valley’s edge
The tinted cliffs are standing,
With many a broken wall and ledge,
And many a rocky landing.
And round about their rugged feet
Deep ferny dells are hidden
In shadowed depths, when dust and heat
Are banished and forbidden.
The stream that, crooning to itself,
Comes down a tireless rover,
Flows calmly to the rocky shelf,
And there leaps bravely over.
Now pouring down, now lost in spray
When mountain breezes sally
The water strikes the rock midway,
And leaps into the valley.
Now in the west the colours change,
The blue with crimson blending;
Behind the far Dividing Range,
The sun is fast descending.
And mellowed day comes o’er the place,
And softens ragged edges;
The rising moon’s great placid face
Looks gravely o’er the ledges.
[Photo: view from Govetts Leap, Blackheath]