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The Spike: or, Victoria University College Review, September, 1922

Antipodean Horace. Carmen vii

page 10

Antipodean Horace. Carmen vii.

Others shall sing of Sydney and the bays
Her harbour gemming, or long vista praise
Seen in the spaciousness of Melbourne streets,
Or in our own twin isles exult, when greets
Their vision Auckland city, queen whose waist
By both arms of the Sea-god is embraced.
Not mine to laud, as other bards have done,
Thy majesty, imperial Wellington,
Throned upon hills like windy Ilion,
Or Wanganui, famous for her Webb,
Whose glory as her river, knows no ebb.
On Invercargill, now bereft of beer
And quenching civic thirst with cups of cheer
Of origin not quite legitimate
Or of the kind that ne'er inebriate.
Let poets full of lemonade dilate.
Dunedin and her shrines of learning seem
To bardic clan the one familiar theme
Of minstrelsy, though strangers at the gates
Couple Dunedin with the brew of Speights.
Of Canterbury and her mutton prime,
And Christ chureh, home of racing, others rhyme.
Me neither Nelson's sleepy hollow charms
Nor Taranaki with her wealth of farms,
But far amid the Tararua hills
In a green vale of orchards veined with rills
And set in forest, thrilling to the sound
Of tumbling waters, is my Eden found.
Here as the white wings of the south oft fly,
Brushing the frown from oft the sullen sky—
Yet fall no raindrops—so do thou, my friend,
In mellowed wine thy melancholy end.
Be wise then, Martin, and where'er thou be,
In velvet shadows of thine Arcady,
Or mid the the flash of bayonets boding strife,
Drink and in wine forget the cares of life.
Thus Nieuchamp, ere he sailed across the foam,
A fugitive from father and from home,
On Albion's shore addressed his friends forlorn:
And o'er the winecup bade them cease to mourn:
"Let fortune kinder than my sire us call,
We go, my comrades, friends and fellows all:
Fear naught when Nieuchamp steers by Nieuchamp's star.
For Bill has pledged his word the land afar
Shall to the new chum a new England be:
Then ye who oft have suffered worse with me,
My gallant lads, your woes in vintage steep,
To-morrow we will tempt the mighty deep."

A. F. T. Chorlton.