new zealand electronic poetry centre

Ursula Bethell

online works



These insect-calling scents call me out also
Into the blazing noon or the short twilight
Or the unblemished sweetnesses of dawn

Scents that were cloying within closed casements
Borne on the free winds are soul-reviving spices,
Lures to fill up the lungs with youth-renewing airs.

Memorial smells, summons to the unconscious,
Secret balms, restoring innocent gladness,
Calling us back to sincere gladness and joy.

Honeysuckles, thymes, jasmines, pinks, lavenders,
Aromatic trees, fragrant herbs.

So, long ago, I think the Syrian Shepherd
Inhaled the sweet airs of his hills and valleys,
Drew in his breath and sang: Yahweh sustains me:
Lifted his head, and went his way rejoicing

From a Garden in the Antipodes (Sidgwick & Jackson, 1929)


Last updated 9 April, 2005