The Poems Of Henry Kendall - novelonlinefull.com
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Then, though you cannot shut a stricken face Away from you, this hope will come about That Christ hath sent again throughout the place Some signs of Love to worst and weaken doubt.
So you may find in every afterthought A peace beyond your best expression dear; And haply hearken to the Voice which wrought Such strength in Peter on the seas of fear!
Ah, often do I wait and watch, And look up, straining through the Real With longing eyes, my friend, to catch Faint glimpses of your white Ideal.
I know she loved to rest her feet By slumbrous seas and hidden strand; But mostly hints of her I meet On moony spots of mountain land.
I've never reached her shining place, And only cross at times a gleam; As one might pa.s.s a fleeting face Just on the outside of a Dream.
But you may climb, her happy Choice!
She knows your step, the maiden true, And ever when she hears your voice, She turns and sits and waits for you.
How sweet to rest on breezy crest With such a Love, what time the Morn Looks from his halls of rosy rest, Across green miles of gleaming corn!
How sweet to find a leafy nook, When bees are out, and Day burns mute, Where you may hear a pa.s.sion'd brook Play past you, like a mellow flute!
Or, turning from the sunken sun, On fields of dim delight to lie-- To close your eyes and muse upon The twilight's strange divinity!
Or through the Night's mysterious noon, While Sound lies hushed among the trees, To sit and watch a mirror'd moon Float over silver-sleeping seas!
Oh, vain regret! why should I stay To think and dream of joys unknown?
You walk with her from day to day, I faint afar off--and alone.
At Long Bay
Five years ago! you cannot choose But know the face of change, Though July sleeps and Spring renews The gloss in gorge and range.
Five years ago! I hardly know How they have slipped away, Since here we watched at ebb and flow The waters of the Bay;
And saw, with eyes of little faith, From c.u.mbered summits fade The rainbow and the rainbow wraith, That shadow of a shade.
For Love and Youth were vext with doubt, Like ships on driving seas, And in those days the heart gave out Unthankful similes.
But let it be! I've often said His lot was hardly cast Who never turned a happy head To an unhappy Past--
Who never turned a face of light To cares beyond recall: He only fares in sorer plight Who hath no Past at all!
So take my faith, and let it stand Between us for a sign That five bright years have known the land Since yonder tumbled line
Of seacliff took our troubled talk-- The words at random thrown, And Echo lived about this walk Of gap and slimy stone.
Here first we learned the Love which leaves No lack or loss behind, The dark, sweet Love which woos the eves And haunts the morning wind.
And roves with runnels in the dell, And houses by the wave What time the storm hath struck the fell And Terror fills the cave--
A Love, you know, that lives and lies For moments past control, And mellows through the Poet's eyes And sweetens in his soul.
Here first we faced a briny breeze, What time the middle gale Went shrilling over whitened seas With flying towers of sail.
And here we heard the plovers call As shattered pauses came, When Heaven showed a fiery wall With sheets of wasted flame.
Here grebe and gull and heavy glede Pa.s.sed eastward far away, The while the wind, with slackened speed, Drooped with the dying Day.
And here our friendship, like a tree, Perennial grew and grew, Till you were glad to live for me, And I to live for you.
Out of the body for ever, Wearily sobbing, "Oh, whither?"
A Soul that hath wasted its chances Floats on the limitless ether.
Lost in dim, horrible blankness; Drifting like wind on a sea, Untraversed and vacant and moaning, Nor shallow nor sh.o.r.e on the lee!
Helpless, unfriended, forsaken; Haunted and tracked by the Past, With fragments of pitiless voices, And desolate faces aghast!
One saith--"It is well that he goeth Naked and fainting with cold, Who worshipped his sweet-smelling garments, Arrayed with the cunning of old!
"Hark! how he crieth, my brothers, With pain for the glittering things He saw on the shoulders of Rulers, And the might in the mouths of the Kings!
"This Soul hath been one of the idlers Who wait with still hands, when they lack For Fortune, like Joseph, to throw them The cup thrust in Benjamin's sack.
"Now, had he been faithful in striving, And warring with Wrong to the sword, He must have pa.s.sed over these s.p.a.ces Caught up in the arms of the Lord."
A second: "Lo, Pa.s.sion was wilful; And, glad with voluptuous sighs, He held it luxurious trouble To ache for luxurious eyes!
"She bound him, the woman resplendent; She withered his strength with her stare; And Faith hath been twisted and strangled With folds of her luminous hair!
"Was it well, O you wandering wailer, Abandoned in terrible s.p.a.ce, To halt on the highway to Heaven Because of a glittering face?"
And another: "Behold, he was careful: He faltered to think of his Youth, Dejected and weary and footsore, Alone on the dim road to Truth.
"If the way had been shorter and greener And brighter, he might have been brave; But the goal was too far and he fainted, Like Peter with Christ on the wave!"