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The Poems Of Henry Kendall Part 39

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In the soft yellow evening-ends, The wind of the water is faint By the home of the last of my friends-- The shrine of the father and saint.

The tenderness touching--the grace Of Ridley no more is for me; And flowers have hidden the face Of the brother who sleeps by the sea.

The vehement voice of the South Is loud where the journalist lies; But calm hath encompa.s.sed his mouth, And sweet is the peace in his eyes.

Called hence by the Power who knows When the work of a hero is done, He turned at the message, and rose With the harness of diligence on.

In the midst of magnificent toil, He bowed at the holy decree; And green is the gra.s.s on the soil Of the grave by the cliffs of the sea.



I knew him, indeed; and I knew, Having suffered so much in his day, What a beautiful nature and true In Bennett was hidden away.

In the folds of a shame without end, When the lips of the scorner were curled, I found in this brother a friend-- The last that was left in the world.

Ah! under the surface austere Compa.s.sion was native to thee; I send from my solitude here This rose for the grave by the sea.

To the high, the heroic intent Of a life that was never at rest, He held, with a courage unspent, Through the worst of his days and the best.

Far back in the years that are dead He knew of the bitterness cold That saddens with silver the head And makes a man suddenly old.

The dignity gracing his grief Was ever a lesson to me; He lies under blossom and leaf In a grave by the cliffs of the sea.

Above him the wandering face Of the moon is a loveliness now, And anthems encompa.s.s the place From lutes of the luminous bough.

The forelands are fiery with foam Where often and often he roved; He sleeps in the sight of the home That he built by the waters he loved.

The wave is his fellow at night, And the sun, shining over the lea, Sheds out an unspeakable light On this grave by the cliffs of the sea.

Galatea

A silver slope, a fall of firs, a league of gleaming gra.s.ses, And fiery cones, and sultry spurs, and swarthy pits and pa.s.ses!

The long-haired Cyclops bated breath, and bit his lip and hearkened, And dug and dragged the stone of death, by ways that dipped and darkened.

Across a tract of furnaced flints there came a wind of water, From yellow banks with tender hints of Tethys' white-armed daughter.

She sat amongst wild singing weeds, by beds of myrrh and moly; And Acis made a flute of reeds, and drew its accents slowly;

And taught its spirit subtle sounds that leapt beyond suppression, And paused and panted on the bounds of fierce and fitful pa.s.sion.

Then he who shaped the cunning tune, by keen desire made bolder, Fell fainting, like a fervent noon, upon the sea-nymph's shoulder.

Sicilian suns had laid a dower of light and life about her: Her beauty was a gracious flower--the heart fell dead without her.

"Ah, Galate," said Polypheme, "I would that I could find thee Some finest tone of hill or stream, wherewith to lull and bind thee!

"What lyre is left of marvellous range, whose subtle strings, containing Some note supreme, might catch and change, or set thy pa.s.sion waning?--

"Thy pa.s.sion for the fair-haired youth whose fleet, light feet perplex me By ledges rude, on paths uncouth, and broken ways that vex me?

"Ah, turn to me! else violent sleep shall track the cunning lover; And thou wilt wait and thou wilt weep when I his haunts discover."

But golden Galatea laughed, and Thosa's son, like thunder, Broke through a rifty runnel shaft, and dashed its rocks asunder,

And poised the bulk, and hurled the stone, and crushed the hidden Acis, And struck with sorrow drear and lone the sweetest of all faces.

To Zeus, the mighty Father, she, with plaint and prayer, departed: Then from fierce Aetna to the sea a fountained water started--

A lucent stream of lutes and lights--cool haunt of flower and feather, Whose silver days and yellow nights made years of hallowed weather.

Here Galatea used to come, and rest beside the river; Because, in faint, soft, blowing foam, her shepherd lived for ever.

Black Kate

Kate, they say, is seventeen-- Do not count her sweet, you know.

Arms of her are rather lean-- Ditto, calves and feet, you know.

Features of h.e.l.lenic type Are not patent here, you see.

Katie loves a black clay pipe-- Doesn't hate her beer, you see.

Spartan Helen used to wear Tresses in a plait, perhaps: Kate has ochre in her hair-- Nose is rather flat, perhaps.

Rose Lorraine's surpa.s.sing dress Glitters at the ball, you see: Daughter of the wilderness Has no dress at all, you see.

Laura's lovers every day In sweet verse embody her: Katie's have a different way, Being frank, they "waddy" her.

Amy by her suitor kissed, Every nightfall looks for him: Kitty's sweetheart isn't missed-- Kitty "humps" and cooks for him.

Smith, and Brown, and Jenkins, bring Roses to the fair, you know.

Darkies at their Katie fling Hunks of native bear, you know.

English girls examine well All the food they take, you twig: Kate is hardly keen of smell-- Kate will eat a snake, you twig.

Yonder lady's sitting room-- Clean and cool and dark it is: Kitty's chamber needs no broom-- Just a sheet of bark it is.

You may find a pipe or two If you poke and grope about: Not a bit of starch or blue-- Not a sign of soap about.

Girl I know reads _Lalla Rookh_-- Poem of the "heady" sort: Kate is better as a cook Of the rough and ready sort.

Byron's verse on Waterloo, Makes my darling glad, you see: Kate prefers a kangaroo-- Which is very sad, you see.

Other ladies wear a hat Fit to write a sonnet on: Kitty has--the naughty cat-- Neither hat nor bonnet on!

Fifty silks has Madame Tate-- She who loves to spank it on: All her clothes are worn by Kate When she has her blanket on.

Let her rip! the Phrygian boy Bolted with a brighter one; And the girl who ruined Troy Was a rather whiter one.

Katie's mouth is hardly Greek-- Hardly like a rose it is: Katie's nose is not antique-- Not the cla.s.sic nose it is.

Dryad in the grand old day, Though she walked the woods about, Didn't smoke a penny clay-- Didn't "hump" her goods about.

Daphne by the fairy lake, Far away from din and all, Never ate a yard of snake, Head and tail and skin and all.

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The Poems Of Henry Kendall Part 39 summary

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