Elegy in the Orongorongo Valley – Hubert Witheford
Sundered from this beauty is its fond lover
Who wandered in boredom over far oceans
Again and again remembering, till the day
When decks split in flame and the sea choked him.
Did his despairing salt-water stormed eye-balls
Search, as they broke, for these streams sprawling
Over high places, the mountains of springtime,
Out of the world on a lost morning?
Did death’s lightning show him this shadowed valley
Burning through oceans, green beyond time?
Was this the river he felt closing over
Islands of pain and over his life?
Here and in exile and in last anguish
He found no frenzy to win him this wanton-
In his full failure glistens the wild bush
Too long remembered, too long forgotten.
O'Sullivan, V. (Ed.). (1979). An anthology of twentieth century New Zealand poetry. Wellington: Oxford University Press.