new zealand electronic poetry centre


Robin Hyde

The Desolate Star And Other Poems


If once a dreamer, in some ancient town,
Found him a love with breast and tresses brown,
And in her low voice heard what all men seek —
Courage, and steadfast heart, and kindness — speak;

Or if a warrior, on his last dark field,
Stood by his wounded comrade, shield to shield,
And, wiping blood from bearded lips, took cheer
To see that staunch young face unflinching near;

And if, far down the dim ancestral line,
Lover and soldier stand, kindred of mine,
Lord, let the splendour of such memories,
A rainbow, bridge the perished days and these.

And let that brown, slim woman, love and wife,
Whose soft breast held the life that gave me life,
Stray sometimes from her deep-dewed golden lands,
With comfort of cool lips and quiet hands,
Move down the woods of dream, the purple hill,
To tell me earth shall bear such lilies still.

Let that lost warrior, young and shining-eyed,
Stand by me, lend me strength to fling aside
The poor, stained shield of doubt, the cynic’s dress,
Choosing his own clear faith in friendliness.
Let those who sought, and found the haven nigh,
Be comrade to this seeker that is I.


Last updated 17 February, 2003