new zealand electronic poetry centre

Ursula Bethell

online works



Sit down with me awhile beside the heath corner.

Here have I laboured hour on hour in winter
Digging thick clay, breaking up clods, and draining,
Carrying away cold mud, bringing up sandy loam,
Bringing these rocks and setting them all in their places,
To be shelter from winds, shade from too burning sun.

See, now, how sweetly all these plants are springing
Green, ever green, and flowering turn by turn.
Delicate heaths, and their fragrant Australian kinsmen,
Shedding, as once unknown in New Holland, strange scents on the air
And purple and white daboecia – the Irish heather
Said in the nursery man’s list to be so well suited
For small gardens, for rock gardens, and for graveyards.


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


Last updated 9 April, 2005