The Poems Of Henry Kendall - novelonlinefull.com
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A sweeter fragrance never came Across the Fields of Yore!
And when I said--"we here would dwell,"-- A low voice on the silence fell-- "Ah! if you loved the roses well, You loved Aileen the more."
"Ay, that I did, and now would turn, And fall and worship her!
But Oh, you dwell so far--so high!
One cannot reach, though he may try, The Morning land, and Jasper sky-- The balmy hills of Myrrh.
"Why vex me with delicious hints Of fairest face, and rarest blooms; You Spirit of a darling Dream Which links itself with every theme And thought of mine by surf or stream, In glens--or caverned glooms?"
She said, "thy wishes led me down, From amaranthine bowers: And since my face was haunting thee With roses (dear which used to be), They all have hither followed me, The scents and shapes of flowers."
"Then stay, mine own evangel, stay!
Or, going, take me too; But let me sojourn by your side, If here we dwell or there abide, It matters not!" I madly cried-- "I only care for you."
Oh, glittering Form that would not stay!-- Oh, sudden, sighing breeze!
A fainting rainbow dropped below Far gleaming peaks and walls of snow And there, a weary way, I go, Towards the Sunrise seas.
The gums in the gully stand gloomy and stark, A torrent beneath them is leaping, And the wind goes about like a ghost in the dark Where a chief of Wahibbi lies sleeping!
He dreams of a battle--of foes of the past, But he hears not the whooping abroad on the blast, Nor the fall of the feet that are travelling fast.
Oh, why dost thou slumber, Kooroora?
They come o'er the hills in their terrible ire, And speed by the woodlands and water; They look down the hills at the flickering fire, All eager and thirsty for slaughter.
Lo! the stormy moon glares like a torch from the vale, And a voice in the belah grows wild in its wail, As the cries of the Wanneroos swell with the gale-- Oh! rouse thee and meet them, Kooroora!
He starts from his sleep and he clutches his spear, And the echoes roll backward in wonder, For a shouting strikes into the hollow woods near, Like the sound of a gathering thunder.
He clambers the ridge, with his face to the light, The foes of Wahibbi come full in his sight-- The waters of Mooki will redden to-night.
Go! and glory awaits thee, Kooroora!
Lo! yeelamans splinter and boomerangs clash, And a spear through the darkness is driven-- It whizzes along like a wandering flash From the heart of a hurricane riven.
They turn to the mountains, that gloomy-browed band; The rain droppeth down with a moan to the land, And the face of a chieftain lies buried in sand-- Oh, the light that was quenched with Kooroora!
To-morrow the Wanneroo dogs will rejoice, And feast in this desolate valley; But where are his brothers--the friends of his choice, And why art thou absent, Ewalli?
Now silence draws back to the forest again, And the wind, like a wayfarer, sleeps on the plain, But the cheeks of a warrior bleach in the rain.
Oh! where are thy mourners, Kooroora?
Fainting by the Way
Swarthy wastelands, wide and woodless, glittering miles and miles away, Where the south wind seldom wanders and the winters will not stay; Lurid wastelands, pent in silence, thick with hot and thirsty sighs, Where the scanty thorn-leaves twinkle with their haggard, hopeless eyes; Furnaced wastelands, hunched with hillocks, like to stony billows rolled, Where the naked flats lie swirling, like a sea of darkened gold; Burning wastelands, glancing upward with a weird and vacant stare, Where the languid heavens quiver o'er red depths of stirless air!
"Oh, my brother, I am weary of this wildering waste of sand; In the noontide we can never travel to the promised land!
Lo! the desert broadens round us, glaring wildly in my face, With long leagues of sunflame on it,--oh! the barren, barren place!
See, behind us gleams a green plot, shall we thither turn and rest Till a cold wind flutters over, till the day is down the west?
I would follow, but I cannot! Brother, let me here remain, For the heart is dead within me, and I may not rise again."
"Wherefore stay to talk of fainting?--rouse thee for awhile, my friend; Evening hurries on our footsteps, and this journey soon will end.
Wherefore stay to talk of fainting, when the sun, with sinking fire, Smites the blocks of broken thunder, blackening yonder craggy spire?
Even now the far-off landscape broods and fills with coming change, And a withered moon grows brighter bending o'er that shadowed range; At the feet of gra.s.sy summits sleeps a water calm and clear-- There is surely rest beyond it! Comrade, wherefore tarry here?
"Yet a little longer struggle; we have walked a wilder plain, And have met more troubles, trust me, than we e'er shall meet again!
Can you think of all the dangers you and I are living through With a soul so weak and fearful, with the doubts _I_ never knew?
Dost thou not remember that the thorns are cl.u.s.tered with the rose, And that every Zin-like border may a pleasant land enclose?
Oh, across these sultry deserts many a fruitful scene we'll find, And the blooms we gather shall be worth the wounds they leave behind!"
"Ah, my brother, it is useless! See, o'erburdened with their load, All the friends who went before us fall or falter by the road!
We have come a weary distance, seeking what we may not get, And I think we are but children, chasing rainbows through the wet.
Tell me not of vernal valleys! Is it well to hold a reed Out for drowning men to clutch at in the moments of their need?
Go thy journey on without me; it is better I should stay, Since my life is like an evening, fading, swooning fast away!
"Where are all the springs you talked of? Have I not with pleading mouth Looked to Heaven through a silence stifled in the crimson drouth?
Have I not, with lips unsated, watched to see the fountains burst, Where I searched the rocks for cisterns? And they only mocked my thirst!
Oh, I dreamt of countries fertile, bright with lakes and flashing rills Leaping from their shady caverns, streaming round a thousand hills!
Leave me, brother, all is fruitless, barren, measureless, and dry, And my G.o.d will _never_ help me though I pray, and faint, and die!"
"Up! I tell thee this is idle! Oh, thou man of little faith!
Doubting on the verge of Aidenn, turning now to covet death!
By the fervent hopes within me, by the strength which nerves my soul, By the heart that yearns to help thee, we shall live and reach the goal!
Rise and lean thy weight upon me. Life is fair, and G.o.d is just, And He yet will show us fountains, if we only look and trust!
Oh, I know it, and He leads us to the glens of stream and shade, Where the low, sweet waters gurgle round the banks which cannot fade!"
Thus he spake, my friend and brother! and he took me by the hand, And I think we walked the desert till the night was on the land; Then we came to flowery hollows, where we heard a far-off stream Singing in the moony twilight, like the rivers of my dream.
And the balmy winds came tripping softly through the pleasant trees, And I thought they bore a murmur like a voice from sleeping seas.
So we travelled, so we reached it, and I never more will part With the peace, as calm as sunset, folded round my weary heart.
Song of the Cattle-Hunters
While the morning light beams on the fern-matted streams, And the water-pools flash in its glow, Down the ridges we fly, with a loud ringing cry-- Down the ridges and gullies we go!
And the cattle we hunt--they are racing in front, With a roar like the thunder of waves, As the beat and the beat of our swift horses' feet Start the echoes away from their caves!
As the beat and the beat Of our swift horses' feet Start the echoes away from their caves!
Like a wintry sh.o.r.e that the waters ride o'er, All the lowlands are filling with sound; For swiftly we gain where the herds on the plain, Like a tempest, are tearing the ground!
And we'll follow them hard to the rails of the yard, O'er the gulches and mountain-tops grey, Where the beat and the beat of our swift horses' feet Will die with the echoes away!
Where the beat and the beat Of our swift horses' feet Will die with the echoes away!