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The Long White Cloud

New Zealand

page 15

New Zealand

God girt her about with the surges,
And winds of the masterless deep,
With tumult that rouses and urges
Quick billows to sparkle and leap;
He filled from the life of their motion
Her nostrils with breath of the sea
And gave her afar in the ocean
  A citadel free.

Her never the fever-mists shrouding
Nor blasts of the desert-wind blight,
Nor pall of drear smoke overclouding
Toil's merciless cities of night,
But her Sun-God wings shafts from his quiver
Over hills that are pasturelands fair
By shores where each league hath its river
  And life thrills the air.

Her beauty abides in all changes
O'er isles where the palm meets the pine,
Where torrents sweep cold from white ranges
To coasts of the fern-tree and vine,
Till the voices of streams that rushed waking
The gorges hoarse cataracts fill
Are lost in the roar of seas breaking,
  The sound never still.

Her youth is made heir of the ages,
Her children are freemen and peers,
Plain workers, yet sure of the wages
Slow destiny pays with the years;
Though little and latest their nation
Yet this they have won without sword
That woman with man shall have station,
  The toiler be lord.

page 16

Far away from gaunt multitudes striving,
Far away from grey misery's dearth,
They are building with patient contriving
A kindlier realm on their earth
Where pity worn age shall environ,
Where the young start abreast in the race,
Nor shall Fate with a gauntlet of iron
  Smite Poverty's face.

Peaks piercing the silence of heaven,
Snows gleaming in luminous space,
See her waves round a hemisphere driven
Fling their crests to the winds as they race;
And the stars watch her lamp newly lighted
And its beams shot afar o'er the sea
With a light of old wrongs at length righted
  By men who are free.

W. P. R.

New Zealand design