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The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 12, Issue 5 (August 2, 1937)

New Zealand Erse

page 47

New Zealand Erse

The Unseen Joys.

I know that the warmth of Heaven's bright sun gives fragrance to the rose,

That stately lilies bow their heads to the softest wind that blows;

I hear the notes of the songbird making music in the trees,

Keeping rhythm with the branches as they rustle in the breeze.

I have savoured the scent of the warm damp earth and touched the morning dew,

And know the feel of my garden flowers of every shape and hue;

I know the sunset glories when the wild harsh storm has gone,

And the shrill call of the wildfowl as they wing towards the dawn.

I love to hear the children, their laughter and their play;

I have heard a baby crooning and a tender mother pray;

I know the joy of a fond embrace and the warmth of a soft love kiss,

These joys of the world are still all mine—there's none that I'd care to miss.

So what care I for the world's mad noise or the crowds that go rushing by;

I would rather sit on a rock-bound coast and list to the sea birds cry,

And feel the urge of the mighty waves as they roll in their majesty;

And thank the Lord for the Joys He has given—the Joys I cannot see.

—H. F. Titchener.

New Zealand Institute for the Blind, Parnell, Auckland.

This is the prize-winning verse in the competition announced over 1Zb. The entries, although very large in number, were rather disappointing in quality. Rules of rhyme and scansion must be reasonably adhered to if verse is to have value.—[Ed.]

* * *

Running Water.

Through the steep wooded valley clear it sings,

Leaping and gliding as it flows along,

Tender its crooning to all tender things Strong-voiced to lusty strong.

Cascading water shot with rainbow light,

Soft-slipping shadows where the burn trout lies,

Ever and ever, endless day and night, Voices of music rise.

What have you caught and held, to give again,

Oh, running water, by great mountains fed,

Patter on myriad leaves of summer rain,

The shy fawn's velvet tread.

Flutter of countless wings when dusk descends,

Morn—and the fluting tui's liquid call,

Whisper of breeze that soft the treetops bend;

Your heart has heard them all.

The mighty roll of thunder o'er the hill,

The roaring storm wind through the forest call;

Then, in the silence when his voice is still,

The old tree-giant fall.

The great stag's voice that bells the quiet night,

Wild rain that floods your breast and none can staunch,

And the grim warning from the mountain height

Of falling avalanche.

Leaping and gliding, singing endlessly, All this it hears, yet one thing never knows;

Oh, water running to the far-off sea—The silence of repose.

—A. Bowyer Poynter.

* * *

Suburban Picture Theatre.

In docile numbers, placidly, we sit,

With loosely folded hands and resting feet,

While for a quickened period we are quit

Of kitchen, door and wall in narrow street.

Of lines of washing, very often soiled By smoke from fact'ry chimneys much too near.

The quarries and the markets where we toiled

At last are gone, and now our eyes are clear.

To witness Beauty in a hundred ways Unfold before us. And we who have seen

The endless dun procession of the days Now see the joys and follies of a queen.

And, soon forgetful of our confining walls,

Behold in rapture terraces and trees, And marbled palaces and lofty halls, And lovely swaying women—all of these.

Bring to our world a world we cannot know.

Adds to the grey a scarlet and a gold.

Flashes of fire in realm of ice and snow—

These were our dreams before our dreams grew old.

Who then shall blame us if too oft we sit

With loosely folded hands and resting feet,

If, for a quickened period we are quit

Of kitchen, door and wall in narrow street? —Isobel Andrews.

* * *

Old Love, New Love.

I built my heart a temple, a temple for my new love

All set with stately candlesticks to light the evening gloom.

I swung the golden censers high and kneeling at the altar,

I waited for my love to come in that brave empty room.

I built my heart a temple, a temple for my new love

But through the silence white and cold, the little dew wet feet

Of my old love came running, there, above the gleaming altar

Her wild, wild eyes looked out at me, so strange, and dark and sweet.

I built my heart a temple, a temple for my new love

I laid my choicest lilies there to give her grave delight.

But when the morning blossomed pale their loveliness lay withered

And but a wild wet woodflower glimmered coldly on my sight.

—A. J. Diprose.

page 48