new zealand electronic poetry centre


Robin Hyde

The Conquerors And Other Poems

Babel Tower
There is no more to say. For I am done
With words, their crimson and their gold, that lie
Meaningless on the canvas of our dreams.
We have come to Babel Tower, you and I,
The whence our speech flows on in separate streams.
I give you silence, cleanly as the sun
Which, pale and gold, floods out this empty sky.

Yet if at last the beauty I have planned
Shall be a desolate image in the sand
Graved with a rune that others do not know,
If you shall come by sunset to that place,
And see the ghostly smile, the human face,
The lion flanks, bathed in that blood-red glow,

Or if you lie in darkness more profound
Than the seed knows, whose blind way underground
Yet keeps the faint green candlelight of spring . . .
If Life shall seal your eyes from pain or mirth
Closer than those whose quiet eyes in earth
Are sealed from quivering leaf, from blue-black wing,
We shall have speech together. There are words
Would conquer any waste of darkening foam,
And meet, with settling purple wings, like birds
That never lose the legend of their home.


Last updated 11 September, 2003