The Poems Of Henry Kendall - novelonlinefull.com
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You have no pa.s.sion for the play, Or park, or other showy scenes; And, hence, you have no scores to pay, And live within your husband's means.
Of course, his income isn't large,-- And not too certain--still you thrive By steering well inside the marge, And keep your little ones alive.
In short, in some respects you set A fine example; and a few Of those white matrons I have met Would show some sense by copying you.
Here let us part! I will not say, O lady free from scents and starch, That you are like, in any way, The auth.o.r.ess of "_Middlemarch_".
One cannot match her perfect phrase With commonplaces from your lip; And yet there are some s.e.xual traits That show your dim relationship.
Indeed, in spite of all the mists That grow from social codes, I see The liberal likeness which exists Throughout our whole humanity.
And though I've laughed at your expense, O Dryad of the dusky race, No man who has a heart and sense Would bring displeasure to your face.
"Daughter," said the ancient father, pausing by the evening sea, "Turn thy face towards the sunset--turn thy face and kneel with me!
Prayer and praise and holy fasting, lips of love and life of light, These and these have made thee perfect--shining saint with seraph's sight!
Look towards that flaming crescent--look beyond that glowing s.p.a.ce-- Tell me, sister of the angels, what is beaming in thy face?"
And the daughter, who had fasted, who had spent her days in prayer, Till the glory of the Saviour touched her head and rested there, Turned her eyes towards the sea-line--saw beyond the fiery crest, Floating over waves of jasper, far Hy-Brasil in the west.
All the calmness and the colour--all the splendour and repose, Flowing where the sunset flowered, like a silver-hearted rose!
There indeed was singing Eden, where the great gold river runs Past the porch and gates of crystal, ringed by strong and shining ones!
There indeed was G.o.d's own garden, sailing down the sapphire sea-- Lawny dells and slopes of summer, dazzling stream and radiant tree!
Out against the hushed horizon--out beneath the reverent day, Flamed the Wonder on the waters--flamed and flashed and pa.s.sed away.
And the maiden who had seen it felt a hand within her own, And an angel that we know not led her to the lands unknown.
Never since hath eye beheld it--never since hath mortal, dazed By its strange, unearthly splendour, on the floating Eden gazed!
Only once since Eve went weeping through a throng of glittering wings, Hath the holy seen Hy-Brasil where the great gold river sings!
Only once by quiet waters, under still, resplendent skies, Did the sister of the seraphs kneel in sight of Paradise!
She, the pure, the perfect woman, sanctified by patient prayer, Had the eyes of saints of Heaven, all their glory in her hair: Therefore G.o.d the Father whispered to a radiant spirit near-- "Show Our daughter fair Hy-Brasil--show her this, and lead her here."
But beyond the halls of sunset, but within the wondrous west, On the rose-red seas of evening, sails the Garden of the Blest.
Still the gates of gla.s.sy beauty, still the walls of glowing light, Shine on waves that no man knows of, out of sound and out of sight.
Yet the slopes and lawns of l.u.s.tre, yet the dells of sparkling streams, Dip to tranquil sh.o.r.es of jasper, where the watching angel beams.
But, behold, our eyes are human, and our way is paved with pain, We can never find Hy-Brasil, never see its hills again; Never look on bays of crystal, never bend the reverent knee In the sight of Eden floating--floating on the sapphire sea!
Jim the Splitter
The bard who is singing of Wollombi Jim Is hardly just now in the requisite trim To sit on his Pegasus fairly; Besides, he is bluntly informed by the Muse That Jim is a subject no singer should choose; For Jim is poetical rarely.
But being full up of the myths that are Greek-- Of the cla.s.sic, and n.o.ble, and nude, and antique, Which means not a rag but the pelt on; This poet intends to give Daphne the slip, For the sake of a hero in moleskin and kip, With a jumper and snake-buckle belt on.
No party is Jim of the Pericles type-- He is modern right up from the toe to the pipe; And being no reader or roamer, He hasn't Euripides much in the head; And let it be carefully, tenderly said, He never has a.n.a.lysed Homer.
He can roar out a song of the twopenny kind; But, knowing the beggar so well, I'm inclined To believe that a "par" about Kelly, The rascal who skulked under shadow of curse, Is more in his line than the happiest verse On the glittering pages of Sh.e.l.ley.
You mustn't, however, adjudge him in haste, Because a red robber is more to his taste Than Ruskin, Rossetti, or Dante!
You see, he was bred in a bangalow wood, And bangalow pith was the princ.i.p.al food His mother served out in her shanty.
His knowledge is this--he can tell in the dark What timber will split by the feel of the bark; And rough as his manner of speech is, His wits to the fore he can readily bring In pa.s.sing off ash as the genuine thing When scarce in the forest the beech is.
In girthing a tree that he sells in the round, He a.s.sumes, as a rule, that the body is sound, And measures, forgetting to bark it!
He may be a ninny, but still the old dog Can plug to perfection the pipe of a log And palm it away on the market.
He splits a fair shingle, but holds to the rule Of his father's, and, haply, his grandfather's school; Which means that he never has blundered, When tying his shingles, by slinging in more Than the recognized number of ninety and four To the bundle he sells for a hundred!
When asked by the market for ironbark red, It always occurs to the Wollombi head To do a "mahogany" swindle.
In forests where never the ironbark grew, When Jim is at work, it would flabbergast you To see how the ironbarks dwindle.
He can stick to the saddle, can Wollombi Jim, And when a buckjumper dispenses with him, The leather goes off with the rider.
And, as to a team, over gully and hill He can travel with twelve on the breadth of a quill And boss the unlucky offsider.
He shines at his best at the tiller of saw, On the top of the pit, where his whisper is law To the gentleman working below him.
When the pair of them pause in a circle of dust, Like a monarch he poses--exalted, august-- There's nothing this planet can show him!
For a man is a _man_ who can sharpen and set, And _he_ is the only thing masculine yet According to sawyer and splitter-- Or rather according to Wollombi Jim; And nothing will tempt me to differ from him, For Jim is a bit of a hitter.
But, being full up, we'll allow him to rip, Along with his lingo, his saw, and his whip-- He isn't the cla.s.sical notion.
And, after a night in his humpy, you see, A person of orthodox habits would be Refreshed by a dip in the ocean.
To tot him right up from the heel to the head, He isn't the Grecian of whom we have read-- His face is a trifle too shady.
The nymph in green valleys of Thessaly dim Would never "jack up" her old lover for him, For she has the tastes of a lady.
So much for our hero! A statuesque foot Would suffer by wearing that heavy-nailed boot-- Its owner is hardly Achilles.
However, he's happy! He cuts a great "fig"
In the land where a coat is no part of the rig-- In the country of damper and billies.
(Written in the shadow of 1872.)
Ah, to be by Mooni now, Where the great dark hills of wonder, Scarred with storm and cleft asunder By the strong sword of the thunder, Make a night on morning's brow!
Just to stand where Nature's face is Flushed with power in forest places-- Where of G.o.d authentic trace is-- Ah, to be by Mooni now!