The Spike or Victoria University College Review 1948
I met this great girl in the premature
Idyll of a summer evening. There she stood
Her hands folded like portents, dress like embers
That the fire has left, hair as brown as grass.
And, as the day dropped, she became
The pause that preludes night, the grey caress
That smoothes all shapes and shades into one wide
Anonymous appeal for clammy sleep.
Though she had taken all the city's grief
She had no voice to tell the pain she bore;
She felt the dead rank air run through her limbs
Without a hand to help their fever pass;
So she contained men's sadness in her eyes,
Became the world of sense though made impure
By days and nights of loving when they tore
Her soul apart for momentary joy:
Only as gods love could she breed and bless.
Slowly she sent to heaven like a prayer
Hot tentacles of wind to name her need
That sung like shafts of light bent from no sun
The earth knows. Savage to save
The cool white bars of heaven stretched to her.
And struck her, statuesque in heat, to melt
Her grief through the air as the rain falls.
I lost this great girl as the rain came down.
And soon the air was full of tenderness.
The twilight's ghost had fled, and cool night came
To make her lovely in the eyes of men;
Then she was beauty's self, with long black hair.
And cool and firm her body like a cloud
That bursts in falls of love and makes us one
With earth and life and all above our sense.