The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 12, Issue 9 (December 1, 1937.)
New Zealand Erse
New Zealand Erse
Maori Love Song.
O wake! The sky is shining like a shell
Over the lake that shadowed lay till now,
And on the darkness of the rata tremble
The Little Lamps of Crimson on each bough.
Dawn flashes like a bird above the toi tois,
Brushing the feathers of their plumes with gold.
The tui sings. O hear! for in his pleading
All the dumb longing of my heart is told.
Awake! The fires of morning burn the heavens,
Scattering the solitude and sleep of night.
So long my days have passed among the shadows,
Come now, O Heart of Dawn, and waken them to light.
Come now, O come! my Little Flower of Rata,
My heart its lonely vigil so long a time has kept.
Come with a touch, a look, and all the Lamps of Blossom,
Will spring from that which long in barreness has slept!
* * *
The day is clear and warm,
Long grass turns yellow in the sun,
And furry brown bees swarm
Amid the clover till the day is done,
While here a man lies full length on the ground
Where dusty butterflies flit round and round.
And see, around his head
Blue smoke is curling from his pipe,
He has a pleasant bed
For where he lies the grass is warm and ripe,
And yet he wanders from the book he reads
And sighs to see the lazy life he leads.
I envied him at first,
His leisure and the long, long days
With time to quench a thirst
For books, and quietude, and lazy ways,
But now I feel ashamed each time I pass,—
Two crutches lie half hidden in the grass.
—Ruth M. Mumford.
* * *
The City Of Sleep.
I came last night to the silver sea
By the dove-grey City of Sleep,
But the gates of pearl were closed to me,
And their keys the angels keep.
I saw the walls and towers gleam
Through the white mists drifting low,
Like the ghost of a pale, forgotten dream,
Or a tale of long ago.
The hills were grey as a witch's hair,
And silvery-grey the sea,
And the City of Sleep shone dim and fair—
But its peace was lost to me.
—J. H. Mather.
* * *
The Station Master's Garden.
Walking up and down the platform,
waiting for the southward train,
Breezes brought me scent of flowers
newly washed by falling rain.
In the rush of checking luggage, I had passed unheeding by
Such a homely little garden where Lobelia's blue eye
Smiled across at Black-eyed Susan,
And a crimson rose whose petals on the path the wind had strewed.
Made me wonder what was hidden in behind that wooden door?
What the Station Master's life was when his working hours were o'er.
Had he wife, and were her tea cups blue and shaded very fine?
Were they bowl-shaped, greeny golden, set in patterns just like mine?
For a woman's heart spoke to me from the flowers smiling there—
I could almost see her bending over seedlings, with a prayer.
I might wonder on for ever of their lives—here comes my train!
With the others who have gathered, I am hurried off again.
Yet as onward we are moving, still my mind's eye seems to see,
That coquettish little garden breathing messages to me.
When my trip is but a memory I shall savour yet again
One bright spot—a rain-washed garden,
as I waited for the train.
—Ruth M. Johnson.
* * *
Have you seen my pretty garden lying drenched in morning dew,
With its countless pansy faces, peeping shyly up at you?
Climbing roses nodding gaily by the latticed window ledge,
And blushing red geraniums nestling 'neath the Hawthorn hedge?
Have you seen my pretty garden on a warm Spring afternoon,
When it's musical with birds' sweet songs, and gay with flowers in bloom;
With purple crocus sentinels on guard 'neath cherry trees,
And the gleam of swaying daffodils,
ecstatic in the breeze?
Have you seen my pretty garden, just as day turns into night,
Lying hushed and very silent, in the dim and fading light;
When the birds have sought their nests, and the golden sunflowers close,
And butterflies lie sleeping in the heart of every rose?
Oh, my garden is a lovely thing, in sunshine or in rain,
With its power to ease my heart of all weariness and pain.
It is more than home—for somehow—I can always feel that He
Is walking in my garden, and is ever close to me.