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The Spike or Victoria University College Review 1931


page 15


Little Kumutoto hidden in the valley
Underneath the freshness of a dainty willow screen,
Little Kumutoto, once the Ngatiawas' darling,
Why are you hiding in a veil of living green?

Once you flowed away down to Wanganui a Tara,
Mingling your sweetness with its bitter brine,
Now you are creeping underneath the willows,
Your waters never sparkling in the bright sunshine.

Softly the ferns dripped in your pebbly shallows,
Overhead the clematis trailed like driven snow;
Gladly the tui sang its happy praises
Of your bubbling beauty, of the pikiarero.

Once the bright rata crimson glowed above you,
Vieing with the scarlet of the sunset sky,
Saw her reflection in your glassy water,
Hung down to kiss you as you passed her by.

In summer days the sun-god peeped through the branches,
Sent all his fairies dancing on your waves,
Flecked you with golden, painted like a rainbow
The dusky darkness of your dewy caves.

Sometimes the wind-god hastened down to meet you,
Breaking up your sparkles in the mischief of his play;
Whirled off a leaflet, dropped in on your surface,
Laughed as you caught it and bore it on your way.

Dusky little Maoris paddled in your water,
Splashed their little golden feet in your cooling stream,
Leaned down over you and drank of you deeply,
Or lay on a sunny rock and watched your wavelets gleam.

But now you are weary, little Kumutoto,
Weary for the happy days that cannot be again.
For now you are forgotten, but I will remember
The little Kumutoto in its leafy glen.

—Phyllis M. Quinlan.

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