John Laurence Rentoul

From ‘An Austral River’

Ah, have you seen Aoranghi rise,
His white cloud-robes unrolled,
And lift his prayer to sapphire skies
Gleamed through with pearl and gold,

And Tasman’s river, strong and fleet,
Through timeless nights and days,
Chanting for ever at his feet
The thunder of his praise?

Oh, in the splendour and the light,—
The strength, the grace, the gleam,—
Heaven’s gate seems lifting clear in sight,
And God’s face not a dream!

In that white world without a stain
I saw the new Day break,
And then gaze, spell-bound, once again
On peak and sleeping lake.

I heard the avalanche crashing by;
And, while my heart stood still,
The glad wild tumult of reply
Pulsed back from fiord and hill.

Then, in the still voice Silence brings
When storms cease, soft and low
I heard God’s secret whisperings
Fall round me on the snow.

And never more, by eve or morn
Where Beauty is arrayed,
Shall you count Dom and Matterhorn
The fairest God has made!

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