new zealand electronic poetry centre


Robin Hyde

The Conquerors And Other Poems

The Hillside
Not where the marble wings are gravely folded
And men have carved their ancient griefs in stone,
Not where Life’s head is bowed, her soft mouth moulded
By sorrow, shall we leave this child alone.
For ways of laughter, the white ways of blossom,
Were meet for step so light. And surely still
Her hands shall gather the yellow flowers of sunshine
Twined with the grasses on this lonely hill.

Here is your home . . . Ah, small and sweet and dear,
Here you may rest in quietude. For here
Comfort abides, in the slow-whispering grass,
That speaks but little, there has come to pass
So true a fellowship of leaf and stem
With the far sky and the dawn’s clear diadem.
Here on a bow of blue shall sunrise seem
To string bright shafts, the huntress of a dream,
Whilst dewdrops flash to opal on the fern;
And here in earth’s safe cradle, you shall learn
(Mid stir of leaves, tumult of fragile wings)
The far-flung destiny of tiny things.
You shall be taught how each light silken boat
Moored to the royal thistle-heads, must float,
Range far, seek other lands, lead life once more
With purple standards to an unknown shore.
And, having learned how slender things as these
Range far on grave and secret purposes,
Shall not your wings grow wide and flushed with light
In some strange opal morning on the height?
Tower towards the sky, then bending lave
In amber sunlight’s crisp immortal wave . . .
Then stoop, a lovely cloud, above that clay
Where we have left you . . . where our hearts must stay.


Last updated 11 September, 2003