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The Spike or Victoria University College Review Silver Jubilee 1924

Song In Winter

Song In Winter

The fairy folk come tapping through the whole live Summer long,
At casement, door and window-pane they pipe an elfin song;
"The stars are fleeing sunset wards, the east is growing grey,
The shining saddle of the sun is being girthed by Day."

"The clouds are barring all the hills, the world is not awake,
The dew is on the fencing line, the orchard trees ashake,
The whinney from the paddock ripples clearly through the air,
Take bridle, then, and saddle-cloth, and catch the grazing mare."

The rushing waters call me from the cleanly running stream
The slender spires are pointing to the city of my dream,
The wish is in the heart of me to rise and go my way
Across the seeding tussock grass towards the breaking day.

But when the winter bleakness drives the leaves from all the land,
And round the dingy evergreens the hungry sparrows band,
If I should hear a tapping on towards the paling day
It's little use their calling for my ears are turned away.

It's little use their calling for the blanket's round my chin,
The ice upon the bucket forms a brittle sheet and thin,
The frost is on the fencing-rail, the ash is on the hearth,
The cold has hardened all the air and whitened on the path.

The noisy chatter of the birds can find no one to heed,
The cattle stand ashiver as they wait for winter feed,
And if the vagrant fairy folk come tapping here today
It's little use their calling for my ears are turned away.