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The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 4, Issue 3 (July 1, 1929)

The Southern Alps

page 59

The Southern Alps

Ye Southern Alps, dreaming your everlasting dreams,

Cloaked in the silent majesty of glacial white:

Holding the storm-wrack to your bosoms thro' the night,

And garnering by morn the sun's Auroral beams.

Staring with an incessant stare across the miles,

Where seas of purple jade toss shimmering in the haze

Of swooning mists that fainting droop, mid violet rays

Born in the shadow'd valleys of your wooded aisles.

Seen in the turbulence of Nature's angered mood,

In majesty of awe, sublime and dominant,

You reach beyond the clutching clouds, significant

Of strength immutable and centuries withstood.

The red tongued lightning weaves a crown of orange gold

About your brows; the crashing thunders roar bayette

Of homage; white flood torrents vainly rave and fret,

In futile rage, seeking the secrets that you hold!

The tempest threshes, impotent, against your sides,

Where glaciers lure their creeping hate with wanton roar:

Ruthless as Death, the surging avalanches pour Their cataclysmic waves and devastating tides.

Then, when the storm is fled and Nature's mood is gay,

'Neath cloudless skies of blue you smile o'er leagues of green

Lush plains, watching the gray mists trace laceries between

The purple shadows and the sun-fleck'd gold of Day.

Morn's lips, of petall'd rose, press low to kiss the hoar

That crowns your stately summits in eternal snows,

With evanescent tints that shame the bright rainbow's

Prismatic glory, arching over sea and shore

The goal set by the American Railway Association in 1923 for a reduction of 35 per cent. in railway accidents by 1930 has already been reached and passed by most of the railroads. In some instances the reduction has been as much as 75 per cent. The elimination so far as practicable, of the human factor is the chief reason for the improvement.

page 60