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Showing posts with label Mary Colborne-Veel. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Mary Colborne-Veel. Show all posts

Friday, March 15, 2013

'Song of the Trees' by Mary Colborne-Veel

Song of the Trees

by Mary Colborne-Veel
We are the Trees.  
  Our dark and leafy glade  
Bands the bright earth with softer mysteries.  
Beneath us changed and tamed the seasons run:  
In burning zones, we build against the sun         
  Long centuries of shade.  

We are the Trees,  
  Who grow for man’s desire,  
Heat in our faithful hearts, and fruits that please.  
Dwelling beneath our tents, he lightly gains         
The few sufficiencies his life attains—  
  Shelter, and food, and fire.  

We are the Trees  
  That by great waters stand,  
By rills that murmur to our murmuring bees.         
And where, in tracts all desolate and waste,  
The palm-foot stays, man follows on, to taste  
  Springs in the desert sand.  

We are the Trees  
  Who travel where he goes          
Over the vast, inhuman, wandering seas.  
His tutors we, in that adventure brave—  
He launched with us upon the untried wave,  
  And now its mastery knows.  

We are the Trees         
  Who bear him company  
In life and death. His happy sylvan ease  
He wins through us; through us, his cities spread  
That like a forest guard his unfenced head  
  ’Gainst storm and bitter sky.         

We are the Trees.  
  On us the dying rest  
Their strange, sad eyes, in farewell messages.  
And we, his comrades still, since earth began,  
Wave mournful boughs above the grave of man,          
  And coffin his cold breast.

Mary Colborne-Veel was a well-known Christchurch poet, a poet of some dramatic and narrative power. Born in Christchurch and educated at home, she began writing verse and essays for the Press in 1887, and was an early contributor to Zealandia. Subsequently she frequently had work published in Australian and English periodicals.