Europe 1945

And now spring comes to the starved and blackened land
where the tailless abominable angel has spent his passion;
dead roots are twined through the bones of a broken hand;
now death, not Schiaparelli, sets the fashion.

In the twentieth century of the Christian era
the news-hawk camera man, no Botticelli,
walks on this stricken earth with Primavera,
and Europe cries from the heart of her hungry belly.

Ten flattened centuries are heaped with rubble,
ten thousand vultures wheel above the plain;
honour is lost and hope is like a bubble;
life is defeated, thought itself is pain.

But the bones of Charlemagne will rise and dance,
and the spark unquenched will kindle into flame.
And the voices heard by the small maid of France
will speak yet again, and give this void a Name.





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Arthur Rex Dugard “Rex” Fairburn (2 February 1904 –25 March 1957) was a New Zealand poet who was born and died in Auckland.