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The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 10, Issue 8 (November 1, 1935)

Barren Gold

Barren Gold.

Far to the north, where the sand-dunes lie,
And the sea-birds' plaint mocks the empty sky,
The great god Waste rules his barren gold
With a bland conceit that is old, so old:
For the birth of time found him seated there,
With the mad, west wind in his unkempt hair;
His trident sceptre the lightning's fork, Rapier keen—as the arrested hawk Swoops to pinion his stricken prey—The blue fire flickers in sinister play; And the wild seas rock where the crazed wind taunts
A shore so arid no scarred reef vaunts
A stark relief 'gainst shifting sand, For the great god Waste stalks the desolate strand.
And man himself fears this tortured zone,
Where the cold sea claims what is not its own,
Nor bird nor tree haunts the lonely shore,
But the phantom ships that will sail no more—
The phantom ships that lost their way On the unknown coast of a bygone day—
Ride the seas when the moon is high, And the scudding clouds scour the weary sky:
The great god Waste is infinitely old, And the sand-dunes' march but a tale half-told.

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