Tall picnic vans behind the sandy dunes --
White tables in the tea-tree's freckled shade --
Thin gramophones that play their bleating tunes
Down every little bracken-tufted glade!
Bright tins and papers -- bottles dimly seen,
And pale beach-daisies trampled down to die!
The blare of noisy laughter, where has been
Nothing more hurtful than the quivering cry
Of some small nesting wren among the green,
Or the wind whispering by!
I have hugged closed the peace of this sweet spot,
Holding its loveliness inviolate;
Knowing upon the tea-tree's lace each knot --
Each silvery blade unfolding slim and straight! ...
And yet I'd count but good the littered loam,
The broken boughs, the daisies bruised and dead,
If one who came should dream tonight at home
Of how the coarse grass felt beneath his tread,
And how, close-in, all glistening white, the foam
Curling its fingers, spread!
First published in The Herald, 6 January 1934