from Soliloquies



Curse these mountains, brutes
That send down granite roots
Nourished on the gold
I may never behold.

Someone may find me dead
By the richest lode
With a prize in my hand
That I’m disallowed.


When God made this place
He made mountains and fissures
Hostile, vicious, and turned
Away His face.

Did He mean me to burn out my heart
In a forty-year search
In this wilderness
Of snow and black birch,
With only a horse for company
Beating on a white tympany?

Is this some penance
For a sin I never knew,
Or does my Grail
Still lie in the snow or hail?

Yet it might be His purpose to plant
The immaculate metal
Where the stoutest hearts quail.

first published in Arawata Bill (Pegasus Press, 1953), © Denis Glover 1953, from Enter Without Knocking (Enlarged edition, Pegasus Press, 1971), used by permission of the Denis Glover Literary Estate. Recording from the Waiata New Zealand Poetry Sound Archive 1974.

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