new zealand electronic poetry centre


Robin Hyde

The Conquerors And Other Poems

The English Trees
Never the scent of hawthorns, fragrant after rain,
Shall make them dream again
Such dreams as Englandís lovers understand
Of quiet homesteads in an English land;
The little high-walled garden that encloses
Lawns white with dew, a crimson snare of roses,
The deep-grassed fields where cows, with serious eyes,
Watch the blue dance of Devon butterflies.

Never the hawthorn trees shall guard them where they sleep ó
Quiet their rest and deep ó
Nor when the little winds light-footed pass
Shall silver petals drift along the grass.
But Flemish poplars, in their foreign tongue,
Through solemn dusks shall whisper, "They died young,
With Englandís careless courage, faithful to
The spired Camelots they never knew."

Never again shall breath of hawthorn in a morn,
Song of a thrush forlorn
Give them such dreams of Rosalind as stray
Lithe-limbed, bare-footed, half a world away.
Dreams shall not trouble their eyes. But on our shore
The English trees are stranger trees no more ó
The golden youth that signed our fathersí page
Won all green England for our heritage.


Last updated 11 September, 2003