[Editor: Mary E. Richmond was a New Zealander who visited Australia in 1897, and wrote several poems about the places she visited, later published in her book Poems (1903).]
(New Year’s Eve, 1897)
The jewelled city glitters through the night,
The jewelled boats glide softly through the gloom ;
On either hand dark isles and headlands loom,
And overhead stars flood the heavens with light.
Our vessel trembles, as the bronze blades smite
The quiet waters, and the engines urge
Our forward way to where the sounding surge
Washes the cliff, and all the waves are white.
’Tis midnight ; from the distant city spires ;
The bells peal out a welcome to the year,
And ruddy glows the smoke of festal fires.
The lighthouse now, unbonneted and free,
Throws out pale spokes of light that wheel and veer,
And one great planet burns above the sea.
Mary E. Richmond. Poems, Elkin Mathews, London, 1903, pages 83-84