The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 9, Issue 8 (November 1, 1934)
The Son And Heir Of Sun And Air
The Solace of Sol.
Man is the son and heir of sun and air. Sol is his solace. The sun is his light and delight, the lamp of his love, and the inspiration for his aspiration. He beams in its beams; he is raised by its rays; its face is his fortune; its fortune is his fate. It fires his imagination and incinerates his agitation. From primordial slime its heat hatched him and its warmth weaned him. Truly he is a sol-e-cism, a sun-kist gropefruit, a sun-baked brick, a burnt offering. Man is the mirror that reflects the rays that raised him. His soul lilts in light When the sun's bright, man's right. When the sun's clouded, his soul's shrouded. Catch him when the sun dapples the dormer and lights the lintel and you have the happy homo, the optimisticm it, the flipper-ino of fellowship and the face that launched a thousand “chips.” But, impinge on his immersion when the sun is soused in southerly suds and the heavens hiccough heavily, and you meet the cold isosceles eye which, as you know, is an optical delusion having only two equal sides, both of which are his. For his soul is sun-starved, his outlook is ingroan, his corpuscles are corrugated, his mind is as dark as a mouse in an ink factory, and his welcome is as cheery as flat beer. He is a sunflower in a cellar, a beam in a moat, a botfly in a bottle and a mosquito in a wax-works. Let him defy and deny, but he is a worshipper of the omniscient orb, an acolyte of light, a son of the sun, a sunny boy.
The Wilt and the Won't.
In the winter he'll wilt; in the summer he won't. Summer lifts him up, winter lets him down. In the winter he is pessimusty and his spirits are damp; in the summer he is optimusical and his tone is high and dry. Thus,
If you want to raise a mortgage,
Wait until the sun is shining;
If you want to strike your uncle for
Do not give the matter moment
while the heavens are repining,
Pick a morning when the weather's
got a tone.
When the weather's bright and sunny
That's the time for raising money.
In the summer any mug can raise a loan.
The Gypsy's Warning.
For summer is loan-some. There is an air of airiness in the air, a vague unrest in the body-and-soul, an urge to up-and-away.
Is there something in the early
Summer days, the hurly burly
Of the Earth's arboreal ardours,
After Winter's raw retarders,
When she yawns and wakes the
Which responds, “O.K., we heard yer.”?
Is there something in the balmy
Subtle scents of Nature's army,
Lining up in mass formation
For its annual assignation
With the lords of love and laughter,
And Old Sol … the gentle grafter?
Is there something limsy-laden
Which responds in man and maiden,
Causing mild intoxication
And assisting animation?
Is there something … Something
In the everlasting shuttle
In the weft and woof of season,
Which upsets the human reason?
Is there something mildly maddish
In the air when rows of radish,
Curly kale and little lettuce
Aid our amours, and abet us?
Is that reckless feckless feeling,
Sending rhyme and reason reeling,
Making sober-sided pacers
Itch to roam the open spaces,
Just a trick of Summer's sewing
Guaranteed to get us going,
So we long to visit parts
Which we've harboured in our hearts,
Such as Tripoli and Asia
And the plains of Anastasia?
Or perchance the explanation
Of this summer aberration
Is that each of us gets tipsy
With that fundamental gypsy
Which, although life's sought to tame us,
In the summer comes to claim us.
That's the reason! We are roamers,
Though environs make us “homers,”
But, deny it if we can,
We've the cloven hoof of Pan.
The pipes of Pan are drain pipes. They drain our powers of concentration and determination. They fill us with strange visions of countries far and fair and deflect us from pounds shillings and pants, from percentages and dementages, from trade and tirade. from earnestness and earnings and suchlike perquisites of progress which make people grate. We long to see the world and all its works. The mind wanders from figures to Fiume, from prices to Provence, from ledgers to London. We build a lambent London with the mental mortar of imagination. We are Macaulay's New Zealander reconstructing a new London from the ruins of our early education.
We wander over Hamstead heath in the merry month of Maying, when the hills are ablaze with early orange peel and the crocus croaks in the marshy meadows of Golder's Green. We hear the horn of the hunter at Tooting; we stand on historic Waterloo Bridge where Bill Adams issued his famous order, “Up boys and bat ’em,” and so saved England in the third test. We hear the jolly bargees of Billingsgate singing their vulgar boat songs to the wild strum of the whelk. The Beef-eaters of Oxon, the Good Templars “shouting” in Temple Bar, the fox hunters of Houndsditch selling each other a pup! We imagine it all. And St. Paul's, that glorious pile built by Christopher Robin in 1066; and Scotland Yard, the home of Sir Harry Lauder, which houses his famous collection of Old Lags and his flock of stool pigeons. Also Fleet Street with Nelson's column, Davy Jones's locker, Barnacle Bill's binnacle, and the ancient ceremony of winding up the dog watch. In imagination we visit Grey's Inn where the famous poet wrote his famous Eulogy to a country church-mouse. We see the Horse Guards changing in public, and Tower Hill which is so steep that many people were “bumped off” there; and we hear the boom of Big Ben and Little Tich. Oh yes, this summer feeling plays up with big business and daylight slaving. With the sun in the eyes the mind is dazzled.
The Columbus Complex.
We stroll along the waterways of Venice, we hearken to the sounds of canine revelry in the Dog's Palace; we meander through Melanesia, Magnesia, Cascara, Kleptomania and stagger up the Steppes of Siberia. The world is our onion and we peel it without tears. For the annual wanderlust is on us. We are the victims of the Columbus complex, and are suffering an overseizure, following an attack of Summer sickness. But if we can't go to the world we can make the world come to us. So here's to us with the sun in our eyes.
Famous writers and their pipes: Priestly, (author of “The Good Companions”) smokes a briar; so does J. M. Barrie; Arnold Bennett liked a calabash; Tennyson and Carlyle smoked penny clays; Thackeray puffed a meerschaum; Mark Twain loved a “corn-cob,” Jas-Payne, the novelist, preferred a “hubble-bubble.” As for tobacco, Barrie's favourite blend is of his own devising; Payne smoked nothing but latakia; Conan Doyle, of Sherlock Holmes fame, smoked common Shag! No accounting for tastes ! Most literary celebrities (generally heavy smokers) like a medium strength tobacco, something they can keep smoking for hours. Our famous New Zealand brands with their exquisite flavour and fascinating aroma, leave nothing to be desired in that respect. You can smoke any of the four favourites: Riverhead Gold, Navy Cut No. 3 (Bulldog), Cavendish, (the popular sporting mixture), or Cut Plug No. 10 (Bullshead), rich, mellow and full-strength, with comfort and safety; because, deprived of practically all their nicotine, they are just as harmless as they can be.*page 14