new zealand electronic poetry centre

Ursula Bethell

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I have told you, Ruth, in plain words
The pleasures of my occupation
In the rhythms of the stout spade
The lawn-mower and the constant hoe.
          But when I listen sometimes to these persistent winds
          Moaning remotely among the resonant bluegums,
          Tossing their dark boughs towards this sheer sky –

                    I would that it had been given me
                    To be the maker of a small melody
          Fit to be chanted by one of Eve’s daughters
          Throwing her first seed into a rough furrow
          Or resting in the shadow of a sycamore
          Playing upon an uncouth instrument.

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


Last updated 31 January, 2006