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The moonlight flutters from the sky

To meet her at the door,

A little ghost, whose steps have passed

Across the creaking floor.

And rustling vines that lightly tap

Against the window-pane,

Throw shadows on the white-washed walls

To blot them out again.

The moonlight leads her as she goes

Across a narrow plain,

By all the old, familiar ways

That know her steps again.

And through the scrub it leads her on

And brings her to the creek,

But by the broken dam she stops

And seems as she would speak.

She moves her lips, but not a sound

Ripples the silent air;

She wrings her little hands, ah, me!

The sadness of despair!

While overhead the black-duck's wing

Cuts like a flash upon

The startled air, that scarcely shrinks

Ere he afar is gone.

And curlews wake, and wailing cry

Cur-lew! cur-lew! cur-lew!

Till all the Bush, with nameless dread

Is pulsing through and through.

The moonlight leads her back again

And leaves her at the door,

A little ghost whose steps have passed

Across the creaking floor.

by Dame Mary Gilmore

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