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The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 11, Issue 3 (June 1, 1936)

New Zealand Verse

page 15

New Zealand Verse

The Dreamer.

… She dreams of birds,
And her dreaming follows the other songs
She hears from the marsh and the tawa's bough;
For sleep has told as her spirit longs,
And her prisoned loves have freedom now.

… She dreams of birds,
And she knows they go to their own again
In the golden air where the marsh songs rise.
… She dreams her dreaming is not in vain,
And every bird in the sunshine flies.

* * *


In the lush grass and mist,
By the dawn sun gold-kist,
On the banks of the river,
We shall live forever.
On the plain's wild, wide sweep,
Where eternal years sleep,
With unnumbered ghosts, through the mist and the grass,
We gallop forever, forever we pass—
Shades from a tale that will never be told
By the green of the grass, and the blue and the gold—
To the dream of dark mountains, piercing the sky—
My horse and I.

Though his hoofs will not leap—
He lieth asleep—
In wild gallop there, ever again,
On the blue and gold plain;
Though life carries me on
From dreams long since gone,
They'll remember forever,
The trees by the river—
Willows that weap and poplars that shiver
Gold in the sun, and the gorse and the broom,
And the silver-grey plume
Of the toi-toi that blows
Where the grey river flows—
The beat of wild hoofs, like the rolling of drums—
He comes—oh, he comes!
With his old esctasy,
Like the waves of the sea
That will never be still.
He comes home from the hill,
To race by the river
Forever and ever.

Under the sky,
Ghosts, we pass by,
My horse and I.

* * *


At length comes morning
And day's pale gilding
Lights just one facet
Of each dark building.

I am a building
And you the morning—
Yet are there places
Which know no dawning!

The gloomed recesses
Make all light sickly
And even to seaward
Clouds bank so quickly.

* * *

A Canterbury Shower.

I love the sound
Of distant rain
Coming across
The fields of grain,

Up and over
The slanting roofs
Like antelopes
With silver hoofs.

I hear them forage
Through the corn
With flick of tail
And tiny horn,
Half expecting
To see them run
Up a rainbow
Into the sun;
When suddenly
As wild things will
They disappear
Beyond the hill.


I wandered down a dusky way,
When shadows fell and sleepy day
Was dropping down behind the hill,
And drowsy breezes all were still.
And all along the path I trod
Brown leaves had covered up the sod,
And golden grass was bending down,
Where thistles plucked against my gown.
On either side, the silent trees
With knotted arms and twisted knees,
Were clad in crimson, gold and green;
Each tall and graceful like a queen
Who dons a robe of wondrous shades,
And wanders through enchanted glades.
I marvelled at the colours there,
For though the boughs were almost bare,
Each tree was decked in autumn gown,
And frail fine leaves were drifting down,
To form a carpet rich and deep,
Where flowers of all the seasons sleep.
The summer, winter and the spring,
With all the joys and hopes they bring,
Are beautiful; but autumn days,
With golden sun and leaf-strewn ways,
Are far more wonderful and fair,
With pale leaves drifting thro’ the air,
The dying flowers, the frosty dawns,
The sparkle of the dew-wet lawns.
And at the hour the sun goes down,
And earth has donned her shadow gown,
The last thrush calls, the first star peeps,
And all night long the pale moon keeps
Her watch upon the sleeping world,
Where tinted leaves are gently whirled
Down to the paths that I had trod,
Where ragged stems in silence nod.

page 16