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Kowhai Gold

[Doreen Price]

The night is a great jewel shot with fires,
Milky with moonlight, murmurous with seas
Which find an echo in the pine-tree spires,
The lights stir like white flowers beneath the trees,
And through the leaves the little winds go thronging,
But my heart takes wings of longing, wings of longing.

For it is Spring at Home, 1
Of hyacinthine hills, pale skies,
page 71 And dim, green beechwoods blown
By winds a-glitter with the rain,
Tremble of leafing aspens thrown
On silver meres,
And the long whisper of the weirs
Flashing to foam.

Ever before me seems
A far, forlornly lovely land,
Threaded with shining streams;
I hear larks singing in the rain,
I see dusks filled with jewelled gleams
Among dark trees,
I dream of woodland ways, green leas,
Thrush-haunted dreams.

And so, my heart swift-winged with longing flees
Over the night's rim, brooding, dim, star sown,
To where, beyond a waste of chanting seas,
It's Spring at Home.

I Love
I love the tumult of the trees,
The silvern slant of willow leaves,
The song that falling water sings,
These and a thousand thousand things
I love.
The shadowy tideways of the moon,
The drowsy gold of afternoon,
Blue uplands where cloud shadows flee,
Pines calling, sea-like, to the sea,
page 72 The clear, pale evening star alight
Far down the windy gulf of night,
Cloud-purpled seas of changing hue,
And bright web-threaded drops of dew,
The twilight song a late thrush sings,
Sun on a soaring seagull's wings,
These and a thousand thousand things
I love.

The Pool
Cupped in a little valley where
The blowing leaves
Weave shadow tapestries
Among the trees,
Pale, gleaming like a gem cast down
By some dim spirit of the mist,
Clear, still and cool,
There lies a pool.

All day it dreams alone
Haunted by music of the thrushes blown
Far down the distances.
But still I know
When night is trembling on the brink
Of dawn, the shy swift winds steal here
To drink.
Through the white mists I hear
Their footsteps go,
A breath among the leaves which dies and stills,
Fading to silence in the lonely hills.

page 73

Night holds the earth in jewelled hands,
A shadowy bowl with a broken rim,
Brimming with waters of moonlight dim.
The liquid dusk of the sky is sown
With paling stars far scattered and strown,
Like moonstones slipped from a parted string.
And the clouds, pale foam of the winds, are blown
To a misty spindrift, a ghostly foam.
The vast, dim cavern of night is filled
With a dreamy sounding, a murmurous spell
As of far-off seas in a great sea-shell.
Light and shadow are all aswim,
The world is flooded from brim to brim
With laving waters of moonlight dim.

The willows stand
Green-misted by the dreaming pool,
There is pale foam of blossom on the hill,
Alternate tides of gold and shadow spill
Across the land.

The larks have flown
Far cloudwards up the plashing wind,
From over sun-swept hill and dappled plain
Their song comes tinkling down, a silver rain
To spindrift blown.

page 74

The upland trees
Toss green and gold upon the height,
Through the dim gossamer of drifting showers.
The rain-jewels lie upon the flowers,
And on the leaves.

The earth awakes,
All its pent loveliness bursts forth
In leafing bough and fragile bud unfurled.
Spring, Summer's wistful dawn, upon the world
In beauty breaks.

1 "Home": England.