The Colony by John Hewitt (The Bell, Volume 18 no. 11, pp. 33-37, 1953).

“First came the legions, then the colonists,
provincials, landless citizens, and some
camp-followers of restless generals content now only with the least of wars…

We planted little towns to garrison
the heaving country… we felled the trees,
selling them off the foothills, at a stroke
making quick profits, smoking out the nests
of the barbarian tribesmen, clan by clan,
who hunkered in their blankets…

We took the kindlier soils. It had been theirs,
this patient, temperate, slow, indifferent,
crop-yielding, crop-denying, in-neglect-
sodden and friendly land.

Only among the hills with hare and kestrel
will you observe what once this land was like
before we made it fat for human use — …

I mourn the trees
more than as a symbol — and would make amends
by fraternising, by small gestures,
hoping by patient words I may convince
my people and this people we are changed
from the raw levies that usurped the land,
if not to kin, to co-inhabitants
as goat and ox may graze in the same field…
the use, the pace, the patient years of labour,
the rain against the lips, the changing light,
the heavy clay-sucked stride, have altered us;
we would be strangers in the Capitol…”