The Poems Of Henry Kendall Part 14

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Vext with gleams of Ladon's daughter, dashed along the son of Jove, Fast upon flower-trammelled Daphne fleeting on from grove to grove; Flights of seawind hard behind him, breaths of bleak and whistling straits; Drifts of driving cloud above him, like a troop of fierce-eyed Fates!

So he reached the water-shallows; then he stayed his steps, and heard Daphne drop upon the gra.s.ses, fluttering like a wounded bird.

Was there help for Ladon's daughter? Saturn's son is high and just: Did he come between her beauty and the fierce Far-darter's l.u.s.t?

As she lay, the helpless maiden, caught and bound in fast eclipse, Did the lips of G.o.d drain pleasure from her sweet and swooning lips?

Now that these and all Love's treasures blushed, before the spoiler, bare, Was the wrong that shall be nameless done, and seen, and suffered there?

No! for Zeus is King and Father. Weary nymph and fiery G.o.d, Bend the knee alike before him--he is kind, and he is lord!

Therefore sing how clear-browed Pallas--Pallas, friend of prayerful maid, Lifted dazzling Daphne lightly, bore her down the breathless glade, Did the thing that Zeus commanded: so it came to pa.s.s that he Who had chased a white-armed virgin, caught at her, and clasped a tree.

The Warrigal

-- * The Dingo, or Wild Dog of Australia.

The warrigal's lair is pent in bare, Black rocks at the gorge's mouth; It is set in ways where Summer strays With the sprites of flame and drouth; But when the heights are touched with lights Of h.o.a.r-frost, sleet, and shine, His bed is made of the dead gra.s.s-blade And the leaves of the windy pine.

Through forest boles the storm-wind rolls, Vext of the sea-driv'n rain; And, up in the clift, through many a rift, The voices of torrents complain.

The sad marsh-fowl and the lonely owl Are heard in the fog-wreaths grey, When the warrigal wakes, and listens, and takes To the woods that shelter the prey.

In the gully-deeps the blind creek sleeps, And the silver, showery moon Glides over the hills, and floats, and fills, And dreams in the dark lagoon; While halting hard by the station yard, Aghast at the hut-flame nigh, The warrigal yells--and flats and fells Are loud with his dismal cry.

On the topmost peak of mountains bleak The south wind sobs, and strays Through moaning pine and turpentine, And the rippling runnel ways; And strong streams flow, and great mists go, Where the warrigal starts to hear The watch-dog's bark break sharp in the dark, And flees like a phantom of fear.

The swift rains beat, and the thunders fleet On the wings of the fiery gale, And down in the glen of pool and fen, The wild gums whistle and wail, As over the plains and past the chains Of waterholes glimmering deep, The warrigal flies from the shepherd's cries, And the clamour of dogs and sheep.

He roves through the lands of sultry sands, He hunts in the iron range, Untamed as surge of the far sea verge, And fierce and fickle and strange.

The white man's track and the haunts of the black He shuns, and shudders to see; For his joy he tastes in lonely wastes Where his mates are torrent and tree.


On the storm-cloven Cape The bitter waves roll, With the bergs of the Pole, And the darks and the damps of the Northern Sea: For the storm-cloven Cape Is an alien Shape With a fearful face; and it moans, and it stands Outside all lands Everlastingly!

When the fruits of the year Have been gathered in Spain, And the Indian rain Is rich on the evergreen lands of the Sun, There comes to this Cape To this alien Shape, As the waters beat in and the echoes troop forth, The Wind of the North, Euroclydon!

And the wilted thyme, And the patches past Of the nettles cast In the drift of the rift, and the broken rime, Are tumbled and blown To every zone With the famished glede, and the plovers thinned By this fourfold Wind-- This Wind sublime!

On the wrinkled hills, By starts and fits, The wild Moon sits; And the rindles fill and flash and fall In the way of her light, Through the straitened night, When the sea-heralds clamour, and elves of the war, In the torrents afar, Hold festival!

From ridge to ridge The polar fires On the naked spires, With a foreign splendour, flit and flow; And clough and cave And architrave Have a blood-coloured glamour on roof and on wall, Like a nether hall In the h.e.l.ls below!

The dead, dry lips Of the ledges, split By the thunder fit And the stress of the sprites of the forked flame, Anon break out, With a shriek and a shout, Like a hard, bitter laughter, cracked and thin, From a ghost with a sin Too dark for a name!

And all thro' the year, The fierce seas run From sun to sun, Across the face of a vacant world!

And the Wind flies forth From the wild, white North, That shivers and harries the heart of things, And shapes with its wings A chaos uphurled!

Like one who sees A rebel light In the thick of the night, As he stumbles and staggers on summits afar-- Who looks to it still, Up hill and hill, With a steadfast hope (though the ways be deep, And rough, and steep), Like a steadfast star--

So I, that stand On the outermost peaks Of peril, with cheeks Blue with the salts of a frosty sea, Have learnt to wait, With an eye elate And a heart intent, for the fuller blaze Of the Beauty that rays Like a glimpse for me--

Of the Beauty that grows Whenever I hear The winds of Fear From the tops and the bases of barrenness call; And the duplicate lore Which I learn evermore, Is of Harmony filling and rounding the Storm, And the marvellous Form That governs all!


-- * A stream in the Braidwood district, New South Wales.

River, myrtle rimmed, and set Deep amongst unfooted dells-- Daughter of grey hills of wet, Born by mossed and yellow wells;

Now that soft September lays Tender hands on thee and thine, Let me think of blue-eyed days, Star-like flowers and leaves of shine!

Cities soil the life with rust; Water banks are cool and sweet; River, tired of noise and dust, Here I come to rest my feet.

Now the month from shade to sun Fleets and sings supremest songs, Now the wilful wood-winds run Through the tangled cedar throngs.

Here are cushioned tufts and turns Where the sumptuous noontide lies: Here are seen by flags and ferns Summer's large, luxurious eyes.

On this spot wan Winter casts Eyes of ruth, and spares its green From his bitter sea-nursed blasts, Spears of rain and hailstones keen.

Rather here abideth Spring, Lady of a lovely land, Dear to leaf and fluttering wing, Deep in blooms--by breezes fanned.

Faithful friend beyond the main, Friend that time nor change makes cold; Now, like ghosts, return again Pallid, perished days of old.

Ah, the days!--the old, old theme, Never stale, but never new, Floating like a pleasant dream, Back to me and back to you.

Since we rested on these slopes Seasons fierce have beaten down Ardent loves and blossoming hopes-- Loves that lift and hopes that crown.

But, believe me, still mine eyes Often fill with light that springs From divinity, which lies Ever at the heart of things.

Solace do I sometimes find Where you used to hear with me Songs of stream and forest wind, Tones of wave and harp-like tree.

Araluen--home of dreams, Fairer for its flowerful glade Than the face of Persian streams Or the slopes of Syrian shade;

Why should I still love it so, Friend and brother far away?

Ask the winds that come and go, What hath brought me here to-day.

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The Poems Of Henry Kendall Part 14 summary

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