Brisbane River glides from upper reaches.
For a life-time I have watched the way it flows
From the mountains down to where it goes
Into the ocean, white sand on its beaches.
I have seen it in its upper reaches,
Where it flows down from the mountains clean and clear,
And bubbles over pebbles in the greenness,
Where cattle graze and children frolic near.
I have walked beside it of a daybreak,
In the still when dawn gleams on its face.
I have traveled down it on a ferry
When the city has picked up its daily pace,
And the bustle across it and its bridges
Takes away a little of its grace.
I have sauntered down past portside where cruise ships dock,
By industry and mangroves and the mudflats,
By exclusive Hamilton and squalid Lytton,
Seen the contrast of the mansions and the dockrats.
I have reveled on the river of an evening,
Farewelling soldiers off to Vietnam,
When a dashing, handsome, forthright Sergeant
Sealed my fate with words as sweet as wine.
But time has a way of jading romance,
Though it can’t destroy a love that’s genuine,
And before I had grown very much older,
I owned that he never had been mine.
I’ve seen the river surging swiftly in a torrent,
Sweeping away boats and homes and bridges,
Brimming over banks to cover ridges,
Rooftops showing through its raging current.
I’ve strolled beside the river of a night-time,
When moonlight’s velvet kiss restored its beauty,
Its stillness and its grandeur throughout time,
And I pondered on its depths eternal,
And on all things majestic and sublime.