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The Spike: or, Victoria College Review, June 1913


page 29


"The reason that most New Zealand poems lack a distinctive "atmosphere is that many of our Native names terrify rather "than inspire the muse."


Gentle Muse, you shake and tremble,
Scarce can hold Pegasus' reins,
As before your eyes assemble
Cities, mountains, rivers, plains.
England, Italy, or Fiji,
Happy fields are for your geegee,
Who will not obey his Jehu
Up the heights of Ruapehu.

Ida, source of many a fountain,
Witnessed sad Oenone's tears;
Amaryllis on the mountain
Charmed her shepherd's listening ears.
But, O Muse, could gentle Chloe
Find her way to Pukekohe ?
Cause for tears had sweet Oenone
Had she settled in Petone.

Travelers come from Ind or Tarshish,
Or from silken Samarcand,
Find the names sound rather harshish,
In our own, our native land.
Golden argosy that's leaky
Drops not down to Pipiriki;
Eastern heavens pure and starry
Cast no gleams upon Orari.

Mark the Courts where Jamshyd gloried,
Isles of Greece where Sappho sung,
Famous spots where many a storied
Urn to earth its ash hath flung.
Yet no funeral pyre smoky
Wafts its incense through Kaitoke,
Dainty Paradisian Houri
Haunt no glades by Manalpouri.

page 30

So, sweet Muse, I'll pass no censure
On your conduct, due to fright,
If you'll promise to commence your
Operations here to-night.
Bring, Allphonse, my glass of Clicquot,
Taupo, Toko, Koromiko,
Yield themselves with ready grace
To the Muse's smiling face.