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The Poems Of Henry Kendall Part 4

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Why comes your voice, you lonely One, Along the wild harp's wailing strings?

Have not our hours of meeting gone, Like fading dreams on phantom wings?

Are not the gra.s.ses round your grave Yet springing green and fresh to view?

And does the gleam on Ocean's wave Tide gladness now to me and you?

Oh! cold and cheerless falls the night On withered hearts and hopes decayed: And I have seen but little light Since died the dark Bellambi's Maid!



The Curlew Song

The viewless blast flies moaning past, Away to the forest trees, Where giant pines and leafless vines Bend 'neath the wandering breeze!

From ferny streams, unearthly screams Are heard in the midnight blue; As afar they roam to the shepherd's home, The shrieks of the wild Curlew!

As afar they roam To the shepherd's home, The shrieks of the wild Curlew!

The mists are curled o'er a dark-faced world, And the shadows sleep around, Where the clear lagoon reflects the moon In her hazy glory crowned; While dingoes howl, and wake the growl Of the watchdog brave and true; Whose loud, rough bark shoots up in the dark, With the song of the lone Curlew!

Whose loud, rough bark Shoots up in the dark, With the song of the lone Curlew!

Near herby banks the dark green ranks Of the rushes stoop to drink; And the ripples chime, in a measured time, On the smooth and mossy brink; As wind-breaths sigh, and pa.s.s, and die, To start from the swamps anew, And join again o'er ridge and plain With the wails of the sad Curlew!

And join again O'er ridge and plain With the wails of the sad Curlew!

The clouds are thrown around the cone Of the mountain bare and high, (Whose craggy peak uprears to the cheek-- To the face of the sombre sky) When down beneath the foggy wreath, Full many a gully through, They rend the air, like cries of despair, The screams of the wild Curlew!

They rend the air, Like cries of despair, The screams of the wild Curlew!

The viewless blast flies moaning past, Away to the forest trees; Where giant pines and leafless vines Bend 'neath the wandering breeze!

From ferny streams, unearthly screams Are heard in the midnight blue; As afar they roam to the shepherd's home, The shrieks of the wild Curlew!

As afar they roam To the shepherd's home, The shrieks of the wild Curlew!

The Ballad of Tanna

She knelt by the dead, in her pa.s.sionate grief, Beneath a weird forest of Tanna; She kissed the stern brow of her father and chief, And cursed the dark race of Alkanna.

With faces as wild as the clouds in the rain, The sons of Kerrara came down to the plain, And spoke to the mourner and buried the slain.

Oh, the glory that died with Deloya!

"Wahina," they whispered, "Alkanna lies low, And the ghost of thy sire hath been gladdened, For the men of his people have fought with the foe Till the rivers of Warra are reddened!"

She lifted her eyes to the glimmering hill, Then spoke, with a voice like a musical rill, "The time is too short; can I sojourn here still?"

Oh, the Youth that was sad for Deloya!

"Wahina, why linger," Annatanam said, "When the tent of a chieftain is lonely?

There are others who grieve for the light that has fled, And one who waits here for you only!"

"Go--leave me!" she cried. "I would fain be alone; I must stay where the trees and the wild waters moan; For my heart is as cold as a wave-beaten stone."

Oh, the Beauty that was broke for Deloya!

"Wahina, why weep o'er a handful of dust, When the souls of the brave are approaching?

Oh, look to the fires that are lit for the just, And the mighty who sleep in Arrochin!"

But she turned from the glare of the flame-smitten sea, And a cry, like a whirlwind, came over the lea-- "Away to the mountains and leave her with me!"

Oh, the heart that was broke for Deloya!

The Rain Comes Sobbing to the Door

The night grows dark, and weird, and cold; and thick drops patter on the pane; There comes a wailing from the sea; the wind is weary of the rain.

The red coals click beneath the flame, and see, with slow and silent feet The hooded shadows cross the woods to where the twilight waters beat!

Now, fan-wise from the ruddy fire, a brilliance sweeps athwart the floor; As, streaming down the lattices, the rain comes sobbing to the door: As, streaming down the lattices, The rain comes sobbing to the door.

Dull echoes round the cas.e.m.e.nt fall, and through the empty chambers go, Like forms unseen whom we can hear on tip-toe stealing to and fro.

But fill your gla.s.ses to the brims, and, through a mist of smiles and tears, Our eyes shall tell how much we love to toast the shades of other years!

And hither they will flock again, the ghosts of things that are no more, While, streaming down the lattices, the rain comes sobbing to the door: While, streaming down the lattices, The rain comes sobbing to the door.

The tempest-trodden wastelands moan--the trees are threshing at the blast; And now they come, the pallid shapes of Dreams that perished in the past; And, when we lift the windows up, a smothered whisper round us strays, Like some lone wandering voice from graves that hold the wrecks of bygone days.

I tell ye that I _love_ the storm, for think we not of _thoughts_ of yore, When, streaming down the lattices, the rain comes sobbing to the door?

When, streaming down the lattices, The rain comes sobbing to the door?

We'll drink to those we sadly miss, and sing some mournful song we know, Since they may chance to hear it all, and muse on friends they've left below.

Who knows--if souls in bliss can leave the borders of their Eden-home-- But that some loving one may now about the ancient threshold roam?

Oh, like an exile, he would hail a glimpse of the familiar floor, Though, streaming down the lattices, the rain comes sobbing to the door!

Though, streaming down the lattices, The rain comes sobbing to the door!

Urara

-- * Another spelling of Orara, a tributary of the river Clarence.

Euroka, go over the tops of the hill, For the _Death-clouds_ have pa.s.sed us to-day, And we'll cry in the dark for the foot-falls still, And the tracks which are fading away!

Let them yell to their lubras, the Bulginbah dogs, And say how our brothers were slain, We shall wipe out our grief in the blood of their chief, And twenty more dead on the plain-- On the blood-spattered spurs of the plain!

But the low winds sigh, And the dead leaves fly, Where our warriors lie, In the dingoes' den--in the white-cedar glen On the banks of the gloomy Urara!

Urara! Urara!

On the banks of the gloomy Urara!

The Wallaroos grope through the tufts of the gra.s.s, And crawl to their coverts for fear; But we'll sit in the ashes and let them pa.s.s Where the boomerangs sleep with the spear!

Oh! our hearts will be lonely and low to-night When we think of the hunts of yore; And the foes that we sought, and the fights which we fought, With those who will battle no more-- Who will go to the battle no more!

For the dull winds sigh, And the dead leaves fly, Where our warriors lie, In the dingoes' den--in the white-cedar glen On the banks of the gloomy Urara!

Urara! Urara!

On the banks of the gloomy Urara!

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The Poems Of Henry Kendall Part 4 summary

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