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The Spike Golden Jubilee Number May 1949


page 49


In the tangled wood you are the solitary tree,
Steadfast as oak, yet supple as an elm;
Graceful as willows, to which woodsmen turn,
Holding their axes lightly by the trail.

You are the kowhai, and your gleaming hair
Lures like a beacon; and your lips are red
Like rata blossoms when the summer comes
In sudden radiance through the forest gloom.

You are the tree to which the trampers turn,
Tired and hungry, as the day draws in;
You are the marker, blazing trails for home,
Luring the laggard to the friendly fire.

You are the tree: but I am axe and saw,
Laying siege to your splendour, marking you out for my own,
Skilful and patient and cunning,
Stripping your timber, taking your heart for my home.

Anton Vogt