The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 9, Issue 7 (October 1, 1934)
New Zealnd Verse
New Zealnd Verse
“Weary and wasted I wander, my brother:
See how I swoon in the arms of the night.
Come to me quickly, and tenderly lift me
Out of this terror that darkens my sight.”
Swift from the east, like a wild hawk flashing
Fire-bright wings through the desert of air,
Ra the relentless, the burning pursuer,
Leaps to her aid as she languishes there.
“Marama, Marama, where art thou hiding?
Sister, once more art thou mocking at me?”
Lightly the moon-goddess laughed as she lay
Safe on the shores of a windless sea.
“Sweet is this fountain, O brother deluded,
Sweet and refreshing beyond all surmise.
Lo, like a leper, I plunge in its bosom—Bright as a virgin soon shall I rise.
“Endless thy quest, for I live to evade thee.
Hast thou forgotten that heartless am I?
Still must thou follow, and still shall I lure thee
Down the mad haze of the wildering sky.”
They taught us to love old England,
The mothers with silver hair,
And they longed for the lanes and hedgerows
With an ache which was half a prayer.
But we of a younger story,
Who grew by New Zealand seas,
And gathered her flowers in our childish hours
What more do we want than these?
We list to the bellbird's music,
We gloat on the rata's fire,
We can rest on the park's wild grasses,
And gaze to our heart's desire;
We can drink in like waves of gladness
The breath of the nor'-west wind,
As it rushes along with a joyous song,
Tender and great and kind.
Up there, where the skies seem riven
And lie like a lake of blue,
Where the snow-peaks gleam like silver
Beneath the cloud's dun hue,
Where the sunset banners shimmer
With radiancy all too bright,
Where the arch swings high as the gale draws nigh,
'This rapture to watch to-night.
They tell us, the dear tired mothers,
Of homesteads with ivy grown,
Of mosses which clung for ages
Round buildings of ancient stone;
But we in our young New Zealand,
Its youth like its breezes, dear,
For our proud hearts know with a tender glow
That our love and our home are here!
Black swan slowly move across its surface,
Knowing not they make the scene complete;
Raupo rushes grow around its edges,
Gently bowing low the breeze to meet.
Streamlets wend their way amid the fern fronds
Through the bush that stands serene, alone,
Showers of petals fall like pink tipped snowflakes
Where mankind's outer world is all unknown.
Wild duck train their young ones for life's highway;
A solitary crane begins to soar;
Soft winds rise, whereby the glass-like water
Falls in tiny wavelets on the shore.
Golden sunshine shimmers on the hillside,
Young lambs to their mothers calling clear,
Bring to mind this thought of great importance;
The Maker of these things is ever near.
Yellow buses and cars and trams, Clanging of bells and traffic jams, Petrol fume on the heavy air, Smoke-blacked chimney and whistle's blare.
They are stifling my soul, they are stilling my song;
It may be life, but I don't belong.
For I would be going where orchards stand
Heavy with fruits of a sun-drenched land,
Where lonely winds that are clover-sweet
Go streaming through golden miles of wheat,
And never a sound the silence fills,
Save the bleating of sheep upon the hills.
Oh, I would be breathing the crystal air,
Roaming the tussocky ridges there,
And, lifting my face to the healing sun, The old, glad song from my lips would run.
What joy, to be off on the Central train Seeking the hills of home again!