new zealand electronic poetry centre

Ursula Bethell

online works


Lever de Rideau

the clocks strike
seven, seven, seven, and church-bells
chime busily, and the plain-town heavily wakes;
a salt-sharp east wind flicks and swells
and tosses my emerald silk curtains;
translucent green on blue the empyrean, and lo!
north and west, endlessly limned and painted,
my mountains, my mountains, all snow.

Now a change begins in the heavenly tone-chord;
to the east, eyes! where the sea is incised
like azure ice on sky of vermeil;
oh, dream on prolonged, beautiful prelude!
hushed still, delay, summoning bird-song!
hold, magic touch, be arrested, lovely crisis of sunrise!
when yonder death-white summits are rose-flushed
and glittering, I must


From Day and Night (Caxton, 1939)


Last updated 10 April, 2005