The Poems Of Henry Kendall Part 45

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How dazzling the sunbeams awoke on the spray, When Australia first rose in the distance away, As welcome to us on the deck of the bark, As the dove to the vision of those in the ark!

What fairylike fancies appear'd to the view As nearer and nearer the haven we drew!

What castles were built and rebuilt in the brain, To totter and crumble to nothing again!

We had roam'd o'er the ocean--had travers'd a path, Where the tempest surrounded and shriek'd in its wrath: Alike we had roll'd in the hurricane's breath, And slumber'd on waters as silent as death: We had watch'd the Day breaking each morn on the main, And had seen it sink down in the billows again; For week after week, till dishearten'd we thought An age would elapse ere we enter'd the port.

How often while ploughing the 'watery waste', Our thoughts--from the Future have turn'd to the Past; How often our bosoms have heav'd with regret; For faces and scenes we could never forget: For we'd seen as the shadows o'er-curtain'd our minds The cliffs of old England receding behind; And had turned in our tears from the view of the sh.o.r.e, The land of our childhood, to see it no more.

But when that red morning awoke from its sleep, To show us this land like a cloud on the deep; And when the warm sunbeams imparted their glow, To the heavens above and the ocean below; The hearts had been aching then revell'd with joy, And a pleasure was tasted exempt from alloy; The souls had been heavy grew happy and light And all was forgotten in present delight.

'Tis true--of the hopes that were verdant that day There is more than the half of them withered away: 'Tis true that emotions of temper'd regret, Still live for the country we'll never forget; But yet we are happy, since learning to love The scenes that surround us--the skies are above, We find ourselves bound, as it were by a spell, In the clime we've adopted contented to dwell.

To My Brother, Basil E. Kendall

To-night the sea sends up a gulf-like sound, And ancient rhymes are ringing in my head, The many lilts of song we sang and said, My friend and brother, when we journeyed round Our haunts at Wollongong, that cla.s.sic ground For me at least, a lingerer deeply read And steeped in beauty. Oft in trance I tread Those shining sh.o.r.es, and hear your talk of Fame With thought-flushed face and heart so well a.s.sured (Beholding through the woodland's bright distress The Moon half pillaged of her loveliness) Of this wild dreamer: Had you but endured A dubious dark, you might have won a name With brighter bays than I can ever claim.

The Waterfall

The song of the water Doomed ever to roam, A beautiful exile, Afar from its home.

The cliffs on the mountain, The grand and the gray, They took the bright creature And hurled it away!

I heard the wild downfall, And knew it must spill A pa.s.sionate heart out All over the hill.

Oh! was it a daughter Of sorrow and sin, That they threw it so madly Down into the lynn?

And listen, my Sister, For this is the song The Waterfall taught me The ridges among:--

"Oh where are the shadows So cool and so sweet And the rocks," saith the water, "With the moss on their feet?

"Oh, where are my playmates The wind and the flowers-- The golden and purple-- Of honey-sweet bowers,

"Mine eyes have been blinded Because of the sun; And moaning and moaning I listlessly run.

"These hills are so flinty!-- Ah! tell me, dark Earth, What valley leads back to The place of my birth?--

"What valley leads up to The haunts where a child Of the caverns I sported, The free and the wild?

"There lift me,"--it crieth, "I faint from the heat; With a sob for the shadows So cool and so sweet."

Ye rocks, that look over With never a tear, I yearn for one half of The wasted love here!

My sister so wistful, You know I believe, Like a child for the mountains This water doth grieve.

Ah! you with the blue eyes And golden-brown hair, Come closer and closer And truly declare:--

Supposing a darling Once happened to sin, In a pa.s.sionate s.p.a.ce, Would you carry her in--

If your fathers and mothers, The grand and the gray, Had taken the weak one And hurled her away?

The Song of Arda

(From "Annatanam".)

Low as a lute, my love, beneath the call Of storm, I hear a melancholy wind; The memorably mournful wind of yore Which is the very brother of the one That wanders, like a hermit, by the mound Of Death, in lone Annatanam. A song Was shaped for this, what time we heard outside The gentle falling of the faded leaf In quiet noons: a song whose theme doth turn On gaps of Ruin and the gay-green clifts Beneath the summits haunted by the moon.

Yea, much it travels to the dens of dole; And in the midst of this strange rhyme, my lords, Our Desolation like a phantom sits With wasted cheeks and eyes that cannot weep And fastened lips crampt up in marvellous pain.

A song in whose voice is the voice of the foam And the rhyme of the wintering wave, And the tongue of the things that eternally roam In forest, in fell or in cave; But mostly 'tis like to the Wind without home In the glen of a desolate grave-- Of a deep and desolate grave.

The torrent flies over the thunder-struck clift With many and many a call; The leaves are swept down, and a dolorous drift Is hurried away with the fall.

But mostly 'tis like the Wind without home In the glen of a desolate grave-- Of a deep and desolate grave.

Whoever goes thither by night or by day Must mutter, O Father, to Thee, For the shadows that startle, the sounds that waylay Are heavy to hear and to see; And a step and a moan and a whisper for aye Have made it a sorrow to be-- A sorrow of sorrows to be.

Oh! cover your faces and shudder, and turn And hide in the dark of your hair, Nor look to the Glen in the Mountains, to learn Of the mystery mouldering there; But rather sit low in the ashes and urn Dead hopes in your mighty despair-- In the depths of your mighty despair.

The Helmsman

Like one who meets a staggering blow, The stout old ship doth reel, And waters vast go seething past-- But will it last, this fearful blast, On straining shroud and groaning mast, O sailor at the wheel?

His face is smitten with the wind, His cheeks are chilled with rain; And you were right, his hair is white, But eyes are calm and heart is light _He_ does not fear the strife to-night, He knows the roaring main.

Ho, Sailor! Will to-morrow bring The hours of pleasant rest?

An answer low--"I do not know, The thunders grow and far winds blow, But storms may come and storms may go-- Our G.o.d, He judgeth best!"

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The Poems Of Henry Kendall Part 45 summary

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