So stand, and do not turn: your island round you,
offering, indifferent, to sea-worn eyes,
its stone-dykes cracked and flowered with wild hydrangea,
its lily-banks. Look cold but do not turn.
All I could never win – gleam, echo – mingle.
Slake my sight only, lifting one leaf-flecked arm,
thrust back your hair, and stare, uncomprehending,
at this rough thing the luck of winds set down.
Be to me what these peaks are to the sailor.
Be, in your woods, the lily dappled green
and in your uplands, airs and cowbells drifting,
a strangeness unresented: so remain.
Eyes morning-calm, as when the boats put out;
blank as that sea to which they gaze away.
- From The Land’s Meaning by Randolph Stow, copyright 2012, Fremantle Press.
- Photo via https://www.fremantlepress.com.au/products/the-land-s-meaning