new zealand electronic poetry centre


Robin Hyde

The Desolate Star And Other Poems

The Last Gift

I have taken so much of your beauty, oh deep kind Earth,
Face on your soft old face, heart on your warm heart lying —
Scent of rain in leaves and the small stream’s bubble of mirth,
Hush of the sad-eyed pool that is dark with night-birds’ crying,

Stars drowned deep in the lake, sunset’s flame in a pine,
Secret clutching fingers of baby ferns, close-curled —
These are a stain of scent from a cool old perfumed wine
That sleeps in a carvern chalice blue-glazed in the dawn of the world.

Behold, Life’s gipsy goes clad in the glory of rainbow’s end!
He steals the gold for his heart from a forest of wind-bright broom;
And the wise hills speak to his ears, and the white stars call him friend,
And stoop their stately candles to lighten his way of gloom.

Life that has given so much, yield me the power to give!
Grant that thy ghosts of beauty, lost and pale in my brain,
Born again of my lips, may come to blossom and live, 
Till their scent give peace to earth, like the scent of April rain.

Give me the gift of grass that is harp for summer’s wind,
Gift of rain on the leaves, or the dawn’s first magical bird,
That dreams like angels may come to trouble the eyes of the blind,
With the flame of beauty suddenly caught and clad in a word.


Last updated 17 February, 2003