The Poems Of Henry Kendall Part 27

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What care have I ever to know His owner by sight or by name?

The horse that I glory in so Is still the magnificent same.

I own I am proud of the pluck Of the sportsman that never was bought; But the nag that spread-eagled the ruck Is bound to be first in my thought.

For who that has masculine flame, Or who that is thorough at all, Can help feeling joy in the fame Of this king of the kings of the stall?

What odds if a.s.sumption has sealed His soulless hereafter abode, So long as he shows to his "field"

The gleam of his hoofs, and the road?

Beyond Kerguelen

Down in the South, by the waste without sail on it, Far from the zone of the blossom and tree, Lieth, with winter and whirlwind and wail on it, Ghost of a land by the ghost of a sea.

Weird is the mist from the summit to base of it; Sun of its heaven is wizened and grey; Phantom of life is the light on the face of it-- Never is night on it, never is day!

Here is the sh.o.r.e without flower or bird on it; Here is no litany sweet of the springs-- Only the haughty, harsh thunder is heard on it, Only the storm, with the roar in its wings!

Shadow of moon is the moon in the sky of it-- Wan as the face of a wizard, and far!

Never there shines from the firmament high of it Grace of the planet or glory of star.

All the year round, in the place of white days on it-- All the year round where there never is night-- Lies a great sinister, bitter, blind haze on it: Growth that is neither of darkness nor light!

Wild is the cry of the sea in the caves by it-- Sea that is smitten by spears of the snow; Desolate songs are the songs of the waves by it-- Down in the south, where the ships never go.

Storm from the Pole is the singer that sings to it Hymns of the land at the planet's grey verge.

Thunder discloses dark, wonderful things to it-- Thunder and rain, and the dolorous surge.

Hills with no hope of a wing or a leaf on them, Scarred with the chronicles written by flame, Stare, through the gloom of inscrutable grief on them, Down on the horns of the gulfs without name.

Cliffs, with the records of fierce flying fires on them-- Loom over perilous pits of eclipse; Alps, with anathema stamped in the spires on them-- Out by the wave with a curse on its lips.

Never is sign of soft, beautiful green on it-- Never the colour, the glory of rose!

Neither the fountain nor river is seen on it, Naked its crags are, and barren its snows!

Blue as the face of the drowned is the sh.o.r.e of it-- Sh.o.r.e, with the capes of indefinite cave.

Strange is the voice of its wind, and the roar of it Startles the mountain and hushes the wave.

Out to the south and away to the north of it, Spectral and sad are the s.p.a.ces untold!

All the year round a great cry goeth forth of it-- Sob of this leper of lands in the cold.

No man hath stood, all its bleak, bitter years on it-- Fall of a foot on its wastes is unknown: Only the sound of the hurricane's spears on it Breaks with the shout from the uttermost zone.

Blind are its bays with the shadow of bale on them; Storms of the nadir their rocks have uphurled; Earthquake hath registered deeply its tale on them-- Tale of distress from the dawn of the world!

_There_ are the gaps, with the surges that seethe in them-- Gaps in whose jaws is a menace that glares!

_There_ the wan reefs, with the merciless teeth in them, Gleam on a chaos that startles and scares!

Back in the dawn of this beautiful sphere, on it-- Land of the dolorous, desolate face-- Beamed the blue day; and the bountiful year on it Fostered the leaf and the blossom of grace.

Grand were the lights of its midsummer noon on it-- Mornings of majesty shone on its seas; Glitter of star and the glory of moon on it Fell, in the march of the musical breeze.

Valleys and hills, with the whisper of wing in them, Dells of the daffodil--s.p.a.ces impearled, Flowered and flashed with the splendour of Spring in them-- Back in the morn of this wonderful world.

Soft were the words that the thunder then said to it-- Said to this l.u.s.tre of emerald plain; Sun brought the yellow, the green, and the red to it-- Sweet were the songs of its silvery rain.

Voices of water and wind in the bays of it Lingered, and lulled like the psalm of a dream.

Fair were the nights and effulgent the days of it-- Moon was in shadow and shade in the beam.

Summer's chief throne was the marvellous coast of it, Home of the Spring was its luminous lea: Garden of glitter! But only the ghost of it Moans in the south by the ghost of a sea.

Black Lizzie

The gloved and jewelled bards who sing Of Pippa, Maud, and Dorothea, Have hardly done the handsome thing For you, my inky Cytherea.

Flower of a land whose sunny skies Are like the dome of Dante's clime, They _might_ have praised your lips, your eyes, And, eke, your ankles in their rhyme!

But let them pa.s.s! To right your wrong, Aspasia of the ardent South, Your poet means to sing a song With some prolixity of mouth.

I'll even sketch you as you are In Herrick's style of carelessness, Not overstocked with things that bar An ample view--to wit, with dress.

You have your blanket, it is true; But then, if I am right at all, What best would suit a dame like you Was worn by Eve before the Fall.

Indeed, the "fashion" is a thing That never cramped your cornless toes: Your single jewel is a ring Slung in your penetrated nose.

I can't detect the flowing lines Of Grecian features in your face, Nor are there patent any signs That link you with the Roman race.

In short, I do not think your mould Resembles, with its k.n.o.bs of bone, The fair h.e.l.lenic shapes of old Whose perfect forms survive in stone.

Still, if the charm called Beauty lies In ampleness of ear and lip, And nostrils of exceeding size, You are a gem, my ladyship!

Here, squatting by the doubtful flame Of three poor sticks, without a roof Above your head, impa.s.sive dame You live on--somewhat hunger-proof.

The current scandals of the day Don't trouble you--you seem to take Things in the coolest sort of way-- And _wisest_--for you have no ache.

You smoke a pipe--of course, you do!

About an inch in length or less, Which, from a s.e.xual point of view, Mars somehow your attractiveness.

But, rather than resign the weed, You'd shock us, whites, by chewing it; For etiquette is not indeed A thing that bothers you a bit.

Your people--take them as a whole-- Are careless on the score of grace; And hence you needn't comb your poll Or decorate your unctuous face.

Still, seeing that a little soap Would soften an excess of tint, You'll pardon my advance, I hope, In giving you a gentle hint.

You have your lovers--dusky beaux Not made of the poetic stuff That sports an Apollonian nose, And wears a sleek Byronic cuff.

But rather of a rougher clay Unmixed with overmuch romance, Far better at the wildwood fray Than spinning in a ballroom dance.

_These_ scarcely are the sonneteers That sing their loves in faultless clothes: _Your_ friends have more decided ears And more capaciousness of nose.

No doubt they suit you best--although They woo you roughly it is said: Their way of courtship is a blow Struck with a nullah on the head.

It doesn't hurt you much--the thing Is hardly novel to your life; And, _sans_ the feast and marriage ring, You make a good impromptu wife.

This hasty sort of wedding might, In other cases, bring distress; But then, your draper's bills are light-- You're frugal in regard to dress.

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The Poems Of Henry Kendall Part 27 summary

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