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The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 14, Issue 7 (October 2, 1939)

The Eyes Have It

The Eyes Have It.

Discord is the bane of Beauty and the ally of Ugliness. It is unfortunate that, in the affairs of man, there exist types which lag behind in the march from Chaos to Culture but, in the main, man goes to great lengths to cultivate and defend the essential harmony which is Beauty.

There are those who are not quite consciously aware of their inherent desire for beauty. They may liken a sunset to a plate of scrambled eggs. The Pyramid of Cheops may only remind them of dinner, the sight of the Southern Alps may set them sneezing; Egmont may leave them cold and the kauri forests merely give them a crick in the back of the neck. They will deny that they are Benedicts of Beauty. Yet they will hate pain, anxiety, fear and blatant ugliness, all of which are the born enemies of Beauty. Therefore, unless they are of the turnip tribe, they must be the unconscious allies of Beauty. With a little treatment for mental astigmatism they will see that beauty is what you make it. That:—

There's beauty in the tinned sardine,
So silvery and svelte,
There's harmony in sausages,
Tranquillity in smelt.
No sunset, like a peacock's wing,
Can beat young onions plucked in spring.
No need to seek where Sappho sings—

“There's harmony in sausages.”

“There's harmony in sausages.”

There's beauty in the common things.
A light reflected in a puddle,
Tired sparrows resting in a huddle,
A scarlet crayfish, proud and vain,
A lighted window in the rain,
A row of rain drops on a wire,
The painted caverns in the fire,
A string of washing on the line,
Whipped into patterns subtly fine,
A tap, a barrel ‘neath a tree,
A blade of rye, a horse's knee,
A new-baked loaf, like ingot gold,
A pungent clod of garden mould,
Wet asphalt streaked with bars of light,
A bunch of chimney pots at night,
A smoky billy smelling sweet
Of willow twigs and glowing peat,
A cabbage growing firm and stout,
All common things without a doubt.
A broken fence, the clouds that skim,
Like wadding on the sunset's rim,
A peeling door, a moulding roof,
The pattern of a horse's hoof,
These are the things that artists crave,
Not riches from Aladdin's cave.
The beauty of simplicity,
Which every common man can see,
Is there for every mortal eye,
So cheap that many pass it by.