The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 14, Issue 5 (August 1, 1939)
New Zealand Verse
New Zealand Verse
Give to me the summer sun, and white
Distant peaks with bush-clad slopes,
against the summer blue;
Give me a fishing-boat, sails white
‘gainst far horizon—
They're found at Te Wharangi, the
golden summer through.
Where else do autumn mornings
break, their white mists rolling,
Clearer or more beautiful than o'er the
Where early pioneers first glimpsed
the land of their adoption,
Smiling a sunny welcome as they sailed
in with the tide?
Oh! think of winter-evening fires, the
blue smoke curling
From crackling blaze of drift-wood
logs that lighten up the room;
The bracing air at morning with a
white frost biting!
And a glorious sun that banishes the
Show me at eventide, the light, that
warns ships passing,
And challenges the full-moon's glance
that ripples on the sea;
Casting a gleam far out, on waters
Whose ever-rolling restlessness calls
to the heart of me.
Show me Kapiti's dim outline (with a
froth of fog ling'ring),
Where Maori chieftains battled a cen-
By the river still are traces of Te
When he rested with his warriors upon
the southern shore.
Glimpsed through the evening haze, his
Proudly stands Mount Egmont, a land-
mark there, alone;
Gazing over miles of sea from time
A wealth of Nature's secrets stored
within his wintry cone!
Give me this grandeur, too; and the
sudden gale blowing!
Whipping spray-tossed breakers to a
deep-toned sullen roar,
Driving rain in torrents with a flooding
of the lowlands!
Littering piles of debris for miles along
And the fishing-boats a-pitching — at
their anchors straining—
(Not for them to venture out until
the storm is past)
Anxious men that come aboard in
(The anchor-chains need tightening!
for the tide is making fast).
And the storm passed by at midnight—
and a pale moon riding
Aloof and shining sadly on the chaos
of the flood—
Poor defenceless animals, trapped by
Cast upon the river-beach with
tangled heaps of wood!
There's something in her every mood
that stills vain longing,
That calms the tired and weary heart
and soothes the troubled mind,
Her sunsets, storms and moon-bathed
beach will ever draw you home-
You'll find peace at Te Wharangi, for
she is passing kind!
* * *
Winds have told me where to go
I must follow stars at night
To the lands that bring delight—
For the winds have told me so.
I shall leave grey days behind,
Turn my face to sunny seas,
Spicy whispers on the breeze,
Peace of heart, and peace of mind.
I shall live with simple things,
Sun and stars, and wind and moon,
Though I'm weary, I shall soon
Find the comfort nature brings.
Not for me the common round,
Life will have a warmer glow,
Days will come and days will go,
I shall always be unbound.
Yet some day the time will come
When a wind will call again,
I shall think of soft grey rain,
Yearn for all the sights of home.
Then I'll follow stars once more,
Leave the lazy golden land,
Leave the surf and moonlit sand
For another distant shore.
For the country near my heart—
Homeland hills and friendly towns,
Quiet tints, and greys and browns;
Nevermore will I depart.
Though the longing comes again,
I shall have a treasure store—
Memories to close the door,
Siren songs will call in vain.
* * *
When rush and roar of commerce fades
And rural ways are dumb,
When twilight fills the forest glades
And silent night has come.
'Tis then a trysting I would keep,
Where kowhais, gowned in gold,
Look down on moonlit waters deep,
That sing of gods of old.
That sing of gods of yester-years
And things that used to chance,
Till phantom figures unawares
Come gracefully to dance.
To dance to music of the spheres
That pave the Milky Way;
To dance until the dawn appears
And brings another day.
Another day of life and love,
And of the gods of old,
Of songbirds and of blue above,
And of the kowhai's gold.