The Poems Of Henry Kendall Part 35

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The northern coast was supposed to be in lat.i.tude 10 Degrees S.

*3* Mr. R. H. Major discovered a map of Terra Australis dated A.D. 1555 and bearing the name of Le Testu, a French pilot.

Le Testu must have visited these coasts some years before the date of the chart.

*4* The sailors of the _Duyfken_, a Dutch vessel which entered the Gulf of Carpentaria in A.D. 1606, were attacked by the natives.

In the fray some of the whites were killed. No doubt these unlucky adventurers were the first Europeans buried in Australia.

*5* Dirk Hartog left a tin plate, bearing his name, in Shark Bay, Western Australia.

*6* The story of Tasman's love for Maria, the daughter of Governor Van Diemen, was generally accepted at the time Kendall wrote; but it has since been disproved. Maria was the wife of Antony Van Diemen, Governor of Batavia, who had no children.--Ed.

*7* Dampier.

*8* Botany Bay.

On that bold hill, against a broad blue stream, Stood Arthur Phillip in a day of dream: What time the mists of morning westward rolled, And heaven flowered on a bay of gold!

Here, in the hour that shines and sounds afar, Flamed first old England's banner like a star; Here, in a time august with prayer and praise, Was born the nation of these splendid days; And here this land's majestic yesterday Of immemorial silence died away.

Where are the woods that, ninety summers back, Stood h.o.a.r with ages by the water-track?

Where are the valleys of the flashing wing, The dim green margins and the glimmering spring?

Where now the warrior of the forest race, His glaring war-paint and his fearless face?

The banks of April and the groves of bird, The glades of silence and the pools unstirred, The gleaming savage and the whistling spear, Pa.s.sed with the pa.s.sing of a wild old year!

A single torrent singing by the wave, A shadowy relic in a mountain cave, A ghost of fire in immemorial hills, The whittled tree by folded wayside rills, The call of bird that hides in hollows far, Where feet of thunder, wings of winter are-- Of all that Past, these wrecks of wind and rain, These touching memories--these alone remain!

What sun is this that beams and broadens west?

What wonder this, in deathless glory dressed?

What strange, sweet harp of highest G.o.d took flame And gave this Troy its life, its light, its name?

What awful lyre of marvellous power and range Upraised this Ilion--wrought this dazzling change?

No shining singer of h.e.l.lenic dreams Set yonder splendour by the morning streams!

No G.o.d who glimmers in a doubtful sphere Shed glory there--created beauty here!

This is the city that our fathers framed-- These are the crescents by the elders named!

The human hands of strong, heroic men Broke down the mountain, filled the gaping glen, Ran streets through swamp, built banks against the foam, And bent the arch and raised the lordly dome!

Here are the towers that the founders made!

Here are the temples where these Romans prayed!

Here stand the courts in which their leaders met!

Here are their homes, and here their altars yet!

Here sleep the grand old men whose lives sublime Of thought and action shine and sound through time!

Who worked in darkness--onward fought their ways To bring about these large majestic days-- Who left their sons the hearts and high desires Which built this city of the hundred spires!

A stately Morning rises on the wing, The hills take colour, and the valleys sing.

A strong September flames beyond the lea-- A silver vision on a silver sea.

A new Age, "cast in a diviner mould", Comes crowned with l.u.s.tre, zoned and shod with gold!

What dream is this on lawny s.p.a.ces set?

What miracle of dome and minaret?

What great mute majesty is this that takes The first of morning ere the song-bird wakes?

Lo, this was built to honour gathering lands By Celtic, Saxon, Australasian hands!

These are the halls where all the flags unfurled Break into speech that welcomes all the world.

And lo, our friends are here from every zone-- From isles we dream of and from tracts unknown!

Here are the fathers from the stately s.p.a.ce Where Ireland is and England's sacred face!

Here are the Nors.e.m.e.n from their strong sea-wall, The grave, grand Teuton and the brilliant Gaul!

From green, sweet groves the dark-eyed Lusians sail, And proud Iberia leaves the grape-flushed vale.

Here are the lords whose starry banner shines From fierce Magellan to the Arctic pines.

Here come the strangers from the gates of day-- From hills of sunrise and from white Cathay.

The spicy islands send their swarthy sons, The lofty North its mailed and mighty ones.

Venetian keels are floating on our sea; Our eyes are glad with radiant Italy!

Yea, North and South, and glowing West and East, Are gathering here to grace our splendid feast!

The chiefs from peaks august with Asian snow, The elders born where regal roses grow, Come hither, with the flower of that fair land That blooms beyond the fiery tracts of sand Where Syrian suns their angry l.u.s.tres fling Across blind channels of the bygone spring.

And on this great, auspicious day, the flowers Of labour glorify majestic hours.

The singing angel from the starry sphere Of dazzling Science shows his wonders here; And Art, the dream-clad spirit, starts, and brings From Fairyland her strange, sweet, glittering things.

Here are the works man did, what time his face Was touched by G.o.d in some exalted place; Here glows the splendour--here the marvel wrought When Heaven flashed upon the maker's thought!

Yea, here are all the miracles sublime-- The lights of Genius and the stars of Time!

And, being lifted by this n.o.ble noon, Australia broadens like a tropic moon.

Her white, pure l.u.s.tre beams across the zones; The nations greet her from their awful thrones.

From hence the morning beauty of her name Will shine afar, like an exceeding flame.

Her place will be with mighty lords, whose sway Controls the thunder and the marching day.

Her crown will shine beside the crowns of kings Who shape the seasons, rule the course of things, The fame of her across the years to be Will spread like light on a surpa.s.sing sea; And graced with glory, girt with power august, Her life will last till all things turn to dust.

To Thee the face of song is lifted now, O Lord! to whom the awful mountains bow; Whose hands, unseen, the tenfold storms control; Whose thunders shake the spheres from pole to pole; Who from Thy highest heaven lookest down, The sea Thy footstool, and the sun Thy crown; Around whose throne the deathless planets sing Hosannas to their high, eternal King.

To Thee the soul of prayer this morning turns, With faith that glitters, and with hope that burns!

And, in the moments of majestic calm That fill the heart in pauses of the psalm, She asks Thy blessing for this fair young land That flowers within the hollow of Thine hand!

She seeks of Thee that boon, that gift sublime, The Christian radiance, for this hope of Time!

And Thou wilt listen! and Thy face will bend To smile upon us--Master, Father, Friend!

The Christ to whom pure pleading heart hath crept Was human once, and in the darkness wept; The gracious love that helped us long ago Will on us like a summer sunrise flow, And be a light to guide the nation's feet On holy paths--on sacred ways and sweet.

Christmas Creek

Phantom streams were in the distance--mocking lights of lake and pool-- Ghosts of trees of soft green l.u.s.tre--groves of shadows deep and cool!

Yea, some devil ran before them changing skies of bra.s.s to blue, Setting bloom where curse is planted, where a gra.s.s-blade never grew.

Six there were, and high above them glared a wild and wizened sun, Ninety leagues from where the waters of the singing valleys run.

There before them, there behind them, was the great, stark, stubborn plain, Where the dry winds hiss for ever, and the blind earth moans for rain!

Ringed about by tracks of furnace, ninety leagues from stream and tree, Six there were, with wasted faces, working northwards to the sea!

Ah, the bitter, hopeless desert! Here these broken human wrecks Trod the wilds where sand of fire is with the spiteful spinifex, Toiled through spheres that no bird knows of, where with fiery emphasis h.e.l.l hath stamped its awful mint-mark deep on every thing that is!

Toiled and thirsted, strove and suffered! _This_ was where December's breath As a wind of smiting flame is on weird, haggard wastes of death!

_This_ was where a withered moan is, and the gleam of weak, wan star, And a thunder full of menace sends its mighty voices far!

_This_ was where black execrations, from some dark tribunal hurled, Set the brand of curse on all things in the morning of the world!

One man yielded--then another--then a lad of nineteen years Reeled and fell, with English rivers singing softly in his ears, English gra.s.ses started round him--then the grace of Suss.e.x lea Came and touched him with the beauty of a green land by the sea!

Old-world faces thronged about him--old-world voices spoke to him; But his speech was like a whisper, and his eyes were very dim.

In a dream of golden evening, beaming on a quiet strand, Lay the stranger till a bright One came and took him by the hand.

England vanished; died the voices; but he heard a holier tone, And an angel that we know not led him to the lands unknown!

Six there were, but three were taken! Three were left to struggle still; But against the red horizon flamed a horn of brindled hill!

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The Poems Of Henry Kendall Part 35 summary

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