new zealand electronic poetry centre

Lola Ridge

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On the Track

I grope in my soul’s dim places,
     In its chambers hung with black,
And peer till I find the faces
     Of two on a sunlit track.
Oh, grey were the great bush spaces
     That flung us our wild words back!

I laughed when I heard you sigh it –
     ”Goodbye,” but no word I said,
The blood in my veins ran riot;
     I stayed not your parting tread,
But watched till the dusk was quiet
     And the far sky-line was red.

When night, giving rest to the sleepers,
     Hangs over the silent quay,
I list to the white surf reapers
     With their scythes against the sea,
Till my soul has slain its keepers,
     And the danger thoughts are free.

Day comes with its jar and wrangle –
     I fret at the sunbeam’s glare;
For what is their tinsel spangle
     To the molten gold they were?
When you strove with the twisted tangle
     Of the pine-cones in my hair?

I yield to a dream entreating
     Of a pathway known to two,
And shadowy branches meeting
     Where the sunshine filters through –
But never a glance of greeting,
     Or word as I pass by you!



‘On the Track,’ Bulletin 1 Oct 1903: 16. ML.
See also Verses 1905: 12.

Last updated 28 May, 2013