new zealand electronic poetry centre

Ursula Bethell

online works



A Friend said: ‘You must be dull sometimes
Away up there on that hill.’

But the Horticulturist is deprived of the experience of dullness;
When he is not labouring in physical toil,
Or attempting to alleviate ever-recurring hunger and thirst,
He is working out a succession of vegetables,
Or engaged in agreeable speculations
Relating to the prospects of four or five years hence.
Or, after an unfortunate disappointment
Seeking the consolations of Philosophy.
He has never accomplished when the sun goes down
More than a small portion of what he had intended to do.

The poet Marvell said, in one of his compositions:
         ‘But at my back I always hear
         Time’s winged chariot hurrying near.’
Such is, likewise, the experience of the Horticulturist.

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


Last updated 9 April, 2005