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

New Zealand Verse

page 31

New Zealand Verse


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.

The Rain is Gone.

Look up, oh sorrowful eyes,
That wept through a weary night,
Hope smiles in the brightening skies,
And joy in the morning light.
Would you conquer the tyrant care,
And banish her doleful train?
Let nature with promise fair
Speak peace to the heart again.
Ah! tears may have fallen fast
O'er faces furrowed and wan,
But, lo! the winter is past
The rain is over and gone.
While deep in the forest thrills
The pulse of a fuller life,
Far out on the breezy hills
Sweet murmur and song are rife.
It is well if we likewise learn
To join in the hymn of praise,
And well if we trusting turn
Our thoughts to the brighter days,
Through clouds that were broadly cast
The covenant bow has shone,
And, lo! the winter is past
The rain is over and gone.
And even in dismal homes
That streets of the cities gird,
A breath of the country comes,
An echo of spring is heard.
In the flower-shops tenderly lie
Pale blossoms from field and dell,
And many who hasten by Will smile at the tale they tell,
Rejoicing that earth at last
Her raiment of light puts on,
For, lo! the winter is past,
The rain is over and gone.


High into the morning air,
Blushing with a sunrise red,
Mid the ever restless clouds
Taranaki lifts her head,
While the glistening feet of day
Swiftly from the summits height
Down a dancing path of gold
Chase the eerie mists of night.
In the blaze of heated noon
Still she lifts her stately cone,
Cool in regal majesty,
Reigning lofty and alone,
Or when angry storm clouds blow
And the snow comes drifting down,
Swings a sheltering veil of mist
Round her ancient hoary crown.
Silent in the cool of night
Yet she keeps her lofty pride,
Framed in boundless starlit space
Where the mystic moonbeams glide,
And across the plains below,
Save where faint the night wind weeps,
Creeps a gentle brooding peace
Whispering, “Taranaki sleeps.”