new zealand electronic poetry centre

Ursula Bethell

online works



There is perpetual contention
Between the guardians of the dwelling house and the demesne.

Shall the garden be a paradise,
And the inside of the cottage a shambles?

Or contrariwise, the garden a wilderness,
While we preserve the image of a Dutch interior?

While one cries out ‘The wash-up waits!’
The other murmurs wistfully ‘The lawns! the lawns!’

Tell me now, what is your dream –
The neatest apartment in Knightsbridge?
Or in a deep glade of Eden a booth of green boughs?


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


Last updated 9 April, 2005