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The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 14, Issue 4 (July 1, 1939)

Leaves in the Octagon — (Dunedin)

Leaves in the Octagon

All night there fell a rich gold rain of leaves;
Along the pavement and the windy street,
A rustling tide of ragged yellow flows,
And seethes like foam about the people's feet.
Old men have come with rakes and heavy brooms,
Their shoulders bowed, their foot-steps grave and slow,
They move across the lawns and scrape and sweep,
Pushing gold waves before them as they go.
The spoils are raked in heaps till coloured drifts,
Rusting and tarnished in the gutters lie;
The old men don their coats and move away—
The garbage carts will follow by and by.
And watching from his lonely vantage point,
I think perhaps Burns’ worn old statue grieves,
And gazing on a tidy, sobered street,
Yearns for the rich disorder of the leaves.

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