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The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 12, Issue 11 (February 1, 1938)

New Zealand Verse

page 23

New Zealand Verse

The Sleeping Beauty.

Know you a storied lady, lost in sleep
With living blossoms in her braided hair?
The unremembered years her secrets keep;
She has a rendezvous with silence there.
The dawns pass over her; she does not stir;
Across her muted lips the sunbeams dance,
And birds fly in to flirt their wings for her,
And droning bees who would disturb her trance.
She is so still the very mice creep out
To hold their councils 'neath her oaken bed;
They have no fear of her, no pang of doubt;
She could not heed them less if she were dead.
They do not know when the enchantment fell
Or if to-morrow she will slumber yet;
So brief their time no news have they to tell;
So full their days, small creatures soon forget.
Nor do they know that past her lattice bars
Each night she goes in little lonely shoon
To walk the meadows of the fallen stars,
The alabaster stairways of the moon.

* * *

The Things I Love.

All things on earth are dear to me, but I love best of all
The crooning of the evening breeze among the tree-tops tall—
The cool and shady woodland where the periwinkle grows,
And the beauty of a dewdrop as it glistens in a rose;
The rhythm of the poplars as they gently bend and sway,
And the wonder of the rainbow stretched across a sky of grey;
A pathway strewn with autumn leaves of red and golden brown,
And the fairy touch upon my cheek of flying thistle-down—
A host of pink-tipped daisies in a field of emerald green
And the soft caressing music of the little babbling stream—
A silver lining gleaming through a cloud of sombre hue,
And a shimmering path of moonlight dancing on a sea of blue;
The beauty of the first white rose as slowly it unfolds,
And a little garden pathway edged with brown-eyed marigolds;
The glory of the sunset at the closing of the day
And a silhouette of stately trees against a sky of grey—
I love all these the best of all, because they bring to me
A knowledge of the wondrous gifts that God has given free.

* * *

Futility.

If massive mountains shook their sides and laughed,
And spat upon the earth in fiendish glee,
If savage waters sprang from ocean depths,
And sucked away the land into the sea,
If winds in frenzied rapture tore the world
From end to end and scattered gusty death,
If crimson streaks of sunset lit with fire,
Were used to heat their devastating breath,
How then would Man in self defence engage,
And quell the rage of maddened might untold?
Think little Man, how mighty you are not,
Think of the force by greater power controlled.

New Zealand Bush Song.

I'll sing you a song of the Bush on a morn
When it's drenched by the glistening dew,
As tuis and bellbirds herald the dawn
And a waterfall's singing to you.
The Bush is a rapture on mornings like this,
With starry clematis agleam.
While lacy ferns sway in the breeze as they list
To the musical voice of the stream.
I'll sing you a song of the Bush on a day
When the summer's about to grow old.
And you're tempted perhaps in its glory to stay
While you search for the kowhai's gold.
When the rata is spreading its brilliant hue,
Like a scarlet blush up on the hill,
There's a shimmering haze weaves a spell over you
While the Bush slumbers drowsy and still.
I'll croon you a song of the bush on a night
When darkness falls softly around.
Lying silver and black 'neath the moon's soft light
In a silence unbroken by sound.
So the life of the Bush now is cradled to rest,
And still'd is the song of the stream,
Dreaming its dreams on the earth's warm breast,
As only the Bush can dream.
Oh God! When you first made this loveliness,
You did not forget one thing.
From the tiniest flower in its daintiness,
To the grace of a bird on the wing.
You gave it the blue of a morning sky,
The glow of a sunset's blush,
Tall trees for shade, tiny streams rippling by,
Then you gave it, for ever, to us.

page 24