The Last Gift
Original Text: The Desolate Star and other poems (Christchurch: Whitcombe and Tombs, 1929): 25-26.
1I have taken so much of your beauty, oh deep kind Earth,
2Face on your soft old face, heart on your warm heart lying --
3Scent of rain in leaves and the small stream's bubble of mirth,
4Hush of the sad-eyed pool that is dark with night-birds' crying,
5Stars drowned deep in the lake, sunset's flame in a pine,
6Secret clutching fingers of baby ferns, close-curled --
7These are a stain of scent from a cool old perfumed wine
8That sleeps in a carven chalice blue-glazed in the dawn of the world.
9Behold, Life's gipsy goes clad in the glory of rainbow's end!
10He steals the gold for his heart from a forest of wind-bright broom;
11And the wise hills speak to his ears, and the white stars call him friend,
12And stoop their stately candles to lighten his way of gloom.
13Life that has given so much, yield me the power to give!
14Grant that thy ghosts of beauty, lost and pale in my brain,
15Born again of my lips, may come to blossom and live,
16Till their scent give peace to earth, like the scent of April rain.
17Give me the gift of grass that is harp for summer's wind,
18Gift of rain on the leaves, or the dawn's first magical bird,
19That dreams like angels may come to trouble the eyes of the blind,
20With the flame of beauty suddenly caught and clad in a word.
Publication Start Year:
Christchurch Sun, March 9, 1928.
RPO poem Editors:
Cameron La Follette
Data entry: Sharine Leung