Other formats

    TEI XML file   ePub eBook file  


    mail icontwitter iconBlogspot iconrss icon

The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 10, Issue 4 (July 1, 1935.)

New Zealand Verse

page 46

New Zealand Verse

I Heard A Bell-Bird Sing.

Fluted sweetly a hidden bird,
With rapture in its throat,
And cadences, like beauty stirred,
Came trilling, note on note.
Followed my happy heart along,
Threading the leafy way,
To capture the strange, enchanted
song, The airy roundelay.
‘Neath mingled greens and sunset bars,
The lilting pathway lay,
Where night sky spilled her downy stars,
Upon the Milky Way.
I searched o'er rocks and dancing rills,
Beside the breakers' spray,
Where clouds played with the violet hills;
And heard no more the lay.
O song no mortal can detain,
Vanished on morning's beam,
Your limpid notes I found again,
In fabric of a dream.

* * *


Come back from the Edge of Dawn!
Come back! Come back, My Dear!
Dark bodes the night! Grey and forlorn
The sunset falleth here!
Falls along the quiet hills,
Untouched with gold or red.
Come back from the Edge of Dawn!
Beloved! You are not dead!
The Edge of Dawn! Beyond vast seas,
Tideless, without a shore,
Shrouded in rainbow mysteries,
You'll sail, forever more,
In your frail barque, to lilac lands,
Where undreamed glories are—
Oh, I would call you back from these,
To wait the Evening Star.
Come back? … Oh— I'll not call again,
Here, from the dusky hill.
The very depths of my own pain
Shall hold me quiet and still.
How dare I call you back to earth—
To grief deep as my own—
To sunsets fading into rain—
To darkness, here, alone?

* * *

The Race.

Clatter of hoofs and whip and spur,
Straining eyeballs and panting breath,
The brown track swims in a hazy blur,
And the Field rides neck and neck with death.
And then the Victor came,
Swift, swift as wind or wave or running flame.
Red-gold shimmering, shod with fire,
Storming along to his heart's desire;
Satin and sinew racing by,
With flaring nostril and full bright eye,
And thundering rhythm of hoofs which beat
To the ecstasy of his flying feet;
Neither for guerdon, nor gold nor fame,
But pride of his strength and joy of the game,
Grace and beauty, spirit and pride
All compact in that red-gold hide
Like wind, like water, like wind-whipped flame,
And the crazed crowd roaring his name—his name—
While the brown earth blurs and the blue sky spins
“He wins, He wins, Red Terror wins.”

The Maids Of North And South.

How lovely is the Auckland girl,
How daintily she goes Through quiet park or city swirl
It seems as if she flows
Like lilies when it blows.
The supple, swaying way she walks
Recalls carnations on their stalks.
In Christchurch town the girls are staid;
But, ah, how trim and fair.
Nor ever sweeter Quaker maid
Did man's heart so ensnare
And make him sin forswear.
Methinks in that Cathedral town
Was found the first Madonna crown.
Dunedin girls are tall and true,
Like cedar on a hill.
No fonder maiden ever grew—
Maybe, there never will—
To constancy instil.
Perhaps the world has girls as sweet,
But me, I'm backing Princes Street.
Still, Wellington has got the belle—
That ardent lass of ours,
With eyes as clear as asphodel,
With smile as bright as flowers
That blush in golden hours.
Was maid so ever loved before
Since God made sea and sky and shore?

* * *