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The Poems Of Henry Kendall Part 38

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They talk of man's superior sense, And charge the few with treason Who think a dog's intelligence Is very like our reason.

But though Philosophy has tried A score of definitions, 'Twixt man and dog it can't decide The relative positions.

And I believe upon the whole (Though you my creed deny, sir), That Rove's ent.i.tled to a soul As much as you or I, sir!

Indeed, I fail to see the force Of your derisive laughter Because I will not say my horse Has not some horse-hereafter.

A fig for dogmas--let them pa.s.s!



There's much in life to grieve us; And what most grieves is _this_, alas!

That all our best friends leave us.

And when I sip my nightly grog, And watch old Rover blinking, This royal ruin of a dog Calls forth some serious thinking.

For, though he's lightly touched by Fate, I cannot help remarking The step of age is in his gait, Its hoa.r.s.eness in his barking.

He still goes on his rounds at night To keep off forest prowlers; But, ah! he has no teeth to bite The cunning-hearted howlers.

Not like the Rover that, erewhile, Gave droves of dingoes battle, And dashed through flood and fierce defile-- The friend, but dread, of cattle.

Not like to him that, in past years, Won fight by fight, and scattered Whole tribes of dogs with rags of ears And tail-ends torn and tattered.

But while time tells upon our pet, And makes him greyer daily, He is a n.o.ble fellow yet, And wears his old age gaily.

Still, dogs must die; and in the end, When he is past caressing, We'll mourn him like some human friend Whose presence was a blessing.

Till then, be bread and peace his lot-- A life of calm and clover!

The pup may sleep outside with Spot-- We'll keep the nook for Rover.

The Melbourne International Exhibition

[_Written for Music._]

I

Brothers from far-away lands, Sons of the fathers of fame, Here are our hearts and our hands-- This is our song of acclaim.

Lords from magnificent zones, Sh.o.r.es of superlative sway, Awful with l.u.s.tre of thrones, This is our greeting to-day.

Europe and Asia are here-- Shining they enter our ports!

She that is half of the sphere Beams like a sun in our courts.

Children of elders whose day Shone to the planet's white ends, Meet, in the n.o.ble old way, Sons of your forefather's friends.

II

Dressed is the beautiful city--the spires of it Burn in the firmament stately and still; Forest has vanished--the wood and the lyres of it, Lutes of the sea-wind and harps of the hill.

This is the region, and here is the bay by it, Collins, the deathless, beheld in a dream: Flinders and Fawkner, our forefathers grey, by it Paused in the hush of a season supreme.

Here, on the waters of majesty near to us, Lingered the leaders by towers of flame: Elders who turn from the lordly old year to us Crowned with the lights of ineffable fame.

III

Nine and seventy years ago, Up the blaze of yonder bay, On a great exalted day, Came from seas august with snow-- Waters where the whirlwinds blow-- First of England's sons who stood By the deep green, bygone wood Where the wild song used to flow Nine and seventy years ago.

Five and forty years ago, On a grand auspicious morn When the South Wind blew his horn, Where the splendid mountains glow-- Peaks that G.o.d and Sunrise know-- Came the fearless, famous band, Founders of our radiant land, From the lawns where roses grow, Five and forty years ago.

IV

By gracious slopes of fair green hills, In shadows cool and deep, Where floats the psalm of many rills, The n.o.ble elders sleep.

But while their children's children last, While seed from seedling springs, The print and perfume of their past Will be as deathless things.

Their voices are with vanished years, With other days and hours; Their homes are sanctified by tears-- They sleep amongst the flowers.

They do not walk by street or stream, Or tread by grove or sh.o.r.e, But, in the nation's highest dream, They shine for evermore.

V

By lawny slope and lucent strand Are singing flags of every land; On streams of splendour--bays impearled-- The keels are here of all the world.

With lutes of light and cymbals clear We waft goodwill to every sphere.

The links of love to-day are thrown From sea to sea--from zone to zone; And, lo! we greet, in glory drest, The lords that come from east and west, And march like n.o.ble children forth To meet our fathers from the North!

VI

To Thee be the glory, All-Bountiful Giver!

The song that we sing is an anthem to Thee, Whose blessing is shed on Thy people for ever, Whose love is like beautiful light on the sea.

Behold, with high sense of Thy mercy unsleeping, We come to Thee, kneel to Thee, praise Thee, and pray, O Lord, in whose hand is the strength that is keeping The storm from the wave and the night from the day!

By the Cliffs of the Sea

(In Memory of Samuel Bennett.)

In a far-away glen of the hills, Where the bird of the night is at rest, Shut in from the thunder that fills The fog-hidden caves of the west-- In a sound of the leaf, and the lute Of the wind on the quiet lagoon, I stand, like a worshipper, mute In the flow of a marvellous tune!

And the song that is sweet to my sense Is, "Nearer, my G.o.d, unto Thee"; But it carries me sorrowing hence, To a grave by the cliffs of the sea.

So many have gone that I loved-- So few of the fathers remain, That where in old seasons I moved I could never be happy again.

In the breaks of this beautiful psalm, With its deep, its devotional tone, And hints of ineffable calm, I feel like a stranger, alone.

No wonder my eyes are so dim-- _Your_ trouble is heavy on me, O widow and daughter of him Who sleeps in the grave by the sea!

The years have been hard that have pressed On a head full of premature grey, Since Stenhouse went down to his rest, And Harpur was taken away.

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The Poems Of Henry Kendall Part 38 summary

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