The Old Provincial Council Chamber, Christchurch
The steps are saucered in the trodden parts,
But that doesn't take long to happen here;
Two or three generations' traffic starts
In stone like this to make time's meaning clear.
Azaleas burn your gaze away below,
Corbel and finial tell you where to stop;
For present purposes, it does to know
Transport is licensed somewhere at the top.
Children of those who suffered a sea change
May wonder how much history was quarried
And carted, hoisted, carved; and find it strange
How shallow here their unworn age lies buried
Before its time, before their time, whose eyes
Get back from a stopped clock their own surprise.
First published in BOOK 6, The Caxton Press, Christchurch, September 1942