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Kowhai Gold

[S. M. Sunley]

Why should I grieve to think that on a day
I must return again as all men must
To my beginnings—dust to careless dust?
For well I know that, scattered by Time's hand,
My dust shall live in every wind that blows;
I shall be one with each new flower that grows;
And I shall know
Strange places lit by shining friendly stars,
The wonder and the beauty of far lands.
I shall be fashioned by soft childish hands
And be contented so.

Swift is the coming of sleep to the clear eyes of childhood,
Droops your bright head to the lilt of my lullaby song,
One strange, sweet moment I hold you
'twixt waking and sleeping,
Then on a breath you are gone from me—
gone from my keeping.

page 139

What do you see, little one, with the eyes that you close to me?
Whither and whence are the ways that your baby feet tread?
Are other songs that you hear
as sweet as my singing?
Do you find arms that are tender
as mine and as clinging?

Swift is the coming of sleep and swift too awakening,
With the gold gleam of the morning you will come back
From the poppy-starred meadows of dreams,
ah, do not regret them;
I shall enfold you with love
and make you forget them.