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The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 9, Issue 9 (December 1, 1934)


'Tis all but midnight and the sky is dark;
The street lamps dimly flicker through the snow
Which lightly flutters to the ground below—
The fire has died to one red, winking spark.
Upon the mantel stands an ancient clock,
Ticking the hours away in monotone;
A cat sleeps there upon the old hearthstone
While sly mice creep along the wall and mock.
Outside the window grows a Holly tree—
Red berries nodding—through a mist of grey,
And, far beyond, between tall spires, the sea
Is surging shoreward in a cloud of spray.
Hark! solemnly the clock strikes, four times three—
It's twelve o'clock, an English Christmas Day.
And I, far Southward, in another clime,
Am dreaming of the land where I was born—
Where Christmas dawhs a snowdecked, merry morn—
And list'ning for that self-same Christmas chime.
No fire burns here within the rusty grate,
The windows to the breeze are open wide
To let the summer's fragrance waft inside;
A rata tree stands at my garden gate.
I love New Zealand's summer and the flow'rs,
The clematis and rata's crimson spray;
I love the gorse-clad hills and ferny bow'rs,
The Tui's golden call across the bay;
But oh, I long for twelve more snowy hours—
For one more real old English Christmas Day.

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