Heading photographs by Harry Whaite (1912-2011)

 

 

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Beryl Heather
 

St. Helena

Mists On The Mountains

 
In St. Helena you will tread
Volcanic regions long since dead
A soft entrancing vale;
Right in the crater's very heart
Where brimstone fires once took part,
You'll find there runs a trail.
Long shadows dance upon the ground
Where each green hill with sun is crowned,
And trees grow tall and straight
And many birds with trilling song
The branches in the treetops throng,
From early mom till late.
A chain of pools that mark the creek
Where lizards 'neath the cool rocks seek
For food and rest and shade,
And tiny lacy fronds of fern
From side to side so softly turn,
By gentle zephyrs swayed.
Below the ridge this sweet surprise
Is really quite a paradise,
In which you'd love to stay.
Where grassy slopes of lightest green
Present a fair refreshing scene,
And Earth seems far away.
 
Beryl Heather
"Into The Blue"
March 1938
(see Sing With The Wind" 1989)
 
 
 
 
 
'Twas as though I had come to the edge of the world
As I stood looking out into space,
While above and beyond the clouds billowed and
swirled
And completely transformed the whole place,
For the mountains lay hidden behind the thick mist,
And no sign of the vale could I trace.
And the vast panorama of mountains so fair
That I always have seen from Clear Hill
Had quite vanished away, and hung there instead
Misty cloudlets that never were still,
Ever shifting and changing and fading away,
And then rushing the gap to reN1.
And this beautiful scene found its way to my heart
As I watched it before me unfold,
Softest mists in the valleys and mists on the hills
Made a picture I always shall hold,
For I've stored it away in the depths of my heart,
To remember some day when I'm old.
 
Beryl Heather
"Into The Blue"
September 1948
(see "Sing With The Wind" 1989)
 
After The Fire
 
The sky is dull and overcast,
And though the clouds are high
We hope that there will be come rain
For all the creeks are dry.
’Tis six months now since last we heard
The laughter of the rills,
The happy rippling gurgling streams
That trickle down the hills.
 
Right down the vale the fires swept
A week ago to-day,
And now there’s just 8 blackened waste
Where once wall green and grey.
The birds and beasts in terror fled
Before the wall of flame
That hissed and roared relentlessly,
Destroying as it came.
 
The ferns and shrubs and flowers gay
That grew beneath the trees
Were swallowed by the ruthless rush
Of dame swept down the breeze.
And e’en the tallest strongest trees
Are black and badly charred,
For though they’re victors In the fight,
Their boles are burnt and scarred.
 
I felt that it would hurt to see
The bush so desolate,
'Twas just as though a much-loved friend
Had met a dreadful fate.
I thought that I would stay away
Until we'd had some rain,
I'd wait until the flowers grew,
And all be fair again.
 
But came a low insistent call
From hills and valleys bare,
A voice that called for sympathy,
For love in its despair.
It urged me out to weep with it,
The sadness filled my brain,
So how could I desert a friend
That called me to in pain?
 
And do you know that as I walked
Along the track today,
I saw some tiny bright green shoots
Beside the blackened way?
It must have been the dew that fell
Between the eve and morn
That coaxed their heads above the soil
And bade them be reborn
 
Beryl Heather
from "The Bushwalker" Annual 1937