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Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. (1833–1908). A Victorian Anthology, 1837–1895. 1895.

Eleanor Montgomery

A New Zealand Regret

COME! in this cool retreat,

Under the chestnut’s shade,

Far from all noise and heat—

Distant and faint the beat

Of the great city—we two have strayed.

Come, linnet, sing to me,

Sing my soul across the sea.

Sing! let each rippling note

Carry my soul away;

Sweeter than wild bird’s throat,

Backward my memory float,

On music’s wing my heart convey,

Where southern stars in beauty glow,

And Egmont lifts her brow of snow.

Again I ’ll see our long lost home

Upon Wairoa’s grassy plain;

Among the fern the cattle roam;

With idle rein upon his arm o’erthrown

The shepherd guards his flocks again,

And his shrill whistle with his dog’s bark blends,

As down the hill the woolly stream descends.

Or now, the early “muster” over,

With Jim and Tom I ’m slowly riding

Through the home-paddock white with clover,

And followed close by Nip and Rover,

Their warm allegiance now dividing,

For Tom’s fair sisters here we meet,

And welcoming smiles their weary swains do greet.

Here in the world’s great heart abiding,

We two have left the happy isle;

Australian grass Tom’s face is hiding,

Jim in the spirit-land is riding.

From weary thoughts my heart beguile!

Sing, linnet, sing to me,

Sing my soul across the sea.

Yes! now my wings I feel,

Once more the isle I see;

Let sleep my eyelids seal

While to those scenes I steal,

Borne thus on melody;

So sweetly you have sung to me,

Sung my soul across the sea.