EXTINCT BIRDS by Judith Wright
Charles Harpur in his journals long ago
(written in hope and love and never printed)
recorded the birds of his time’s forest-
birds long vanished with the fallen forest-
described in copperplate on unread pages.
The scarlet satin-bird, swung like a lamp in berries,
He watched in love, and then in hope described it.
There was a bird, blue, small, spangled like dew.
All now are vanished with the fallen forest.
And he, unloved, past hope, was buried,
Who helped with proud stained hands to fell the forest,
And set those birds in love on unread pages;
Yet thought himself immortal, being a poet.
And he is not immortal, where I found him,
In love and hope along his careful pages?-
The poet vanished, in the vanished forest,
Among his brightly tinted extinct birds?