new zealand electronic poetry centre

Ursula Bethell

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A fine day, but one for reasoned abstention.
Tempt me not sturdy mattock, nor you, cunning trowel,
Nor you, keen-edged secateurs!

Perhaps with finger and thumb one might venture?
But no! desist now, you scheming brain-cells,
And rest, hand, primeval tool.

Rather, recumbent on this sunny grass-slope,
My mind shall meditate upon divine husbandry,
And ponder emblems, allegories, parables –
The vine, the scattered seed, the threshing flail.

And think of peace flowing like that mighty river
And justice, standing fast like those great mountains,
And for similitude of the soft blue above me
Pitifulness. Tender mercy.

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


Last updated 9 April, 2005