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The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 13, Issue 7 (October 1, 1938)

Lovely Things

Lovely Things.

There are many lovely things—
Things lovely to the sight,
Things lovely to the touch,
That stir dim memories
And rouse vague longings
For that Perfection man has never known.
Moonlight spilling on a tideless, lonely lake;
Sunrise warming in a maiden blush,
The virgin snow on scarred and storm-wracked peak.
Aspiring poplars, sibilant in the breeze
And golden in the heat of autumn's passion;
And spindle trees and scarlet oaks which flame and throb
In one last flaunting burst of ecstasy
To swoon in frosty winter's kindly lap.
Mosses golden-green and diamond-wet,
And speckled foxgloves tipping jubilant spears
That proudly bear their pendant flushing burdens;
Purple grapes that hold within the silver downy skins
The nectar born of sun and mist;
Currants red, of faery made, and berried tutu,
With polished jet globes gleaming.

There are many lovely things,
Lovely things fashioned by man,
Fashioned of thread and stone and hide,
Fashioned in grief and love and pain.
Brocades and satins softly shining,
Velvets of wine and purple royal,
Leather bound books lettered in gold and blue—
The blue of heaven and Mary's cloak;
Squat fat bowls for dusky wallflowers red
And curving statuettes in ivory and bronze
All smoothly wrought and gleaming dully
With the last faint glow of fire
Kindled in pride by deft and patient craftsman.
And windows flooding medieval blues and reds
On pews of oak and floors of stone
Worn by the quiet feet of centuries of worshippers.
These are such lovely, lovely things.

But there are ugly cruel things—
Sneaking submarines, and gas that rends and kills,
And lying greed and vanity in men.
Shall these kill those, the many lovely things?