The Kia ora coo-ee : the magazine for the ANZACS in the Middle East, 1918
An Ode To Suez
An Ode To Suez.
O City of a thousand mysteries,
Whose progress ceased five hundred years ago,
Thou wouldst be better named "Cosmopolis",
For streams from all the world towards thee flow.
Thy face is scarred by structures grim and stark
Whose mud-constructed walls offend the skies;
The only thing of beauty that thou hast
Is veiled and hidden from men's prying eyes,
Thy reeking thoroughfares like rivers are,
And eddying hosts of vari-coloured men
Drift at the will of Circumstance and Time,
To find a harbour far beyound our ken.
When Luna's silvern beams shine from the skies
And bathe thy squalor in a soft toned shade,
Thy wretchedness is hid, and every lane
Re-echoes with some Arab serenade.
Behind thy casements womes's voices croon
Their songs of love, in throaty minor keys,
The while their lords in drowsy languor dream,
And conjure from the past Love's memories.
Strange to our Austral eyes thy minarets,
Thy veiled women and thine Eastern lays:
We leave them gladly, grieflessly, and yet,
Our memories must return to thee always.