THE OLD TOTARA
I strolled along the other evening,
As the sun set in the west,
Amongst the grass and bushes,
Where the wild bird builds her nest,
I kept along the rocky path,
Where all things seemed so still,
Till I stood beside the rugged trunk
Of yonder tree upon the hill.
In boyhood's years I'd known it well,
For on each summer day,
Beneath its shady boughs,
We'd gather there to play.
Up the rocky hillside,
And down by the rippling creek,
Amongst the grass and flakes
We'd play at hide-and-seek.
Along the stony ledges
And through the leafy bowers
We'd find the wild birds' nests,
High up, 'mid the clematis flowers.
But those glories, all are o'er.
My comrades now lie still;
We'll play no more at hide-and-seek
'Neath that old tree upon the- hill.
For Time, with its sudden changes,
Has altered all since then,
And beneath that shady tree
We'll never meet again.
Now often in my dreams I see those comrades still,
But when daylight comes
That tree alone remains upon the hill.
And may it flourish there for ever,
While the sun sets in the west,
Till the sorrowing cease from sorrowing
And the weary sink to rest.
T. F. Gallagher. Kakanui, March, 1906.
- Sourced Otago Daily Witness