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The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 11, Issue 7 (October 1, 1936)



On the ship they were talking and praising the English country,
Green as a garden lawn, and kind,
With ordered hedgerows, and gray towns keeping sentry,
And old towers where the ivies bind.
Peaceful waters in low gray valleys,
And thickets of gentle thorn,
And blackbirds singing in misty alleys
Their clear song to the morn.
And I thought of your wild blue mountains and white snow splashes,
And the shingle rivers racing down,
And the haze of heights where the wild hawk flashes
Over the rugged island crown.
I saw your lakes in their mountain setting,
Silver and sapphire and emerald green,
And their strange shores where the wind waves are fretting,
And casting their spray-broken sheen.
I thought of your wide sweet plains and the blue haze flowing,
And the misty white of moving sheep,
And the wind from the mountains coming and blowing
Keenly from the tussock steep.
Blue gentle seas, and your white shell beaches,
And the white gulls drifting down,
And the white ribbed sand where the spring tide reaches
The grass by the sea-winds mown.
I thought of it all, and the lavish golden spending
When summer is gone, and winter still not,
And the harvest moon is red at the long day's ending,
And the scent of the hayfields sweet and hot.
Remember! O strange, dim, restless fever
That wakes in my veins at morn…
A burning sickness that binds me for ever
To that land where I was born.