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The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 8, Issue 2 (June 1, 1933)

New Zealand Verse

page 49

New Zealand Verse

Aotearoa.

In fadeless forests, winter gone,
The bell-tongued tuis sing,
From gurgling throats, delicious notes
Like liquid gems they fling,
Where all in bold rich-tassell'd gold
The kowhai-clusters cling.
And where the later-waking year
Its laughing life-breath breathes,
Clematis all its stations tall
Has hung with starry wreaths,
And red with wax the flowers of flax
Burst from their shapely sheaths.
But come with me the land to see
When glorious summer glows,
While blue of lakes reflection takes
From stainless mountain snows,
And rivers gush in headlong rush
Of power that fiercely flows!
All green the changeless forest stands,
Save where the rata red
In burning flush is all ablush,
Like sunset-clouds o'erhead,
Or stoops to view its splendours through
The mirroring river-bed.
With autumn comes no sense of loss;
The skies more richly smile;
The merry breeze the bush may tease
With threats of storm awhile,
While orchard's health and farm's full wealth
Glow, mile on sunlit mile.
Here even winter laughs away
The fear of want and cold,
For mildly warm June days but charm
With earlier sunset-gold,
Sunset that smites with opal lights
The violet mountain-fold.
Is this a home from which to roam?
A country to despise?
Come, native! stand upon the land,
And ope your dreaming eyes!
Of all the isles on which Sol smiles,
This is the jewelled prize!
And hymn aloud the long White Cloud
That wraps her mountain strand,
For great as Greece, in war and peace,
In art and order grand,
And greater in her science strong,
Shall rise this lovely land.

* * *

O Bush-Clad Hills.

O bush-clad hills,
New Zealand's lavish grandeur,
Majestic, greenly glorious, sheer Beauty's regal throne;
O bush-clad hills,
Sun-lit to blazing splendour,
Or frowning, gloomy, terrible, with storm-clouds round you blown.
O bush-clad hills,
Uplifting human heartbeats
To where those wooded heights above sublimely kiss the skies;
O bush-clad hills,
Blue-beckoning in the distance,
I love the way your Beauty heals the mind your strength defies.

* * *

Stewart Island Fisherman.

Stewart Island Fisherman,
Whither do you tack?
Hard a port to fishing grounds
And hard a starboard back
With ev'ry stitch of canvas on
Your saucy little smack.
Stewart Island Fisherman,
Cheerio! What luck?
Tossing on your fishing ground
Hidden to the truck
With nothing but a staysail and …
A mighty lot o’ pluck.
Stewart Island Fisherman,
Whither are you bound?
Wind abeam for Half Moon Bay
From your fishing ground
With ev'ry stitch of canvas. May
God speed you safe and sound.