The Poems Of Henry Kendall - novelonlinefull.com
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Here in this lovely lap of bloom, The grace of glen and glade, That tender days and nights illume, My gentle friend was laid.
I do not mark the sh.e.l.l that lies Beneath the touching flowers; I only see the radiant eyes Of other scenes and hours.
I only turn, by grief inspired, Like some forsaken thing, To look upon a life retired As hushed Bethesda's spring.
The glory of unblemished days Is on the silent mound-- The light of years, too pure for praise; I kneel on holy ground!
Here is the clay of one whose mind Was fairer than the dew, The sweetest nature of his kind I haply ever knew.
This Christian, walking on the white Clear paths apart from strife, Kept far from all the heat and light That fills his father's life.
The clamour and exceeding flame Were never in his days: A higher object was his aim Than thrones of shine and praise.
Ah! like an English April psalm, That floats by sea and strand, He pa.s.sed away into the calm Of the Eternal Land.
The chair he filled is set aside Upon his father's floor; In morning hours, at eventide, His step is heard no more.
No more his face the forest knows; His voice is of the past; But from his life of beauty flows A radiance that will last.
Yea, from the hours that heard his speech High shining mem'ries give That fine example which will teach Our children how to live.
Here, kneeling in the body, far From grave of flower and dew, My friend beyond the path of star, I say these words to you.
Though you were as a fleeting flame Across my road austere, The memory of your face became A thing for ever dear.
I never have forgotten yet The Christian's gentle touch; And, since the time when last we met, You know I've suffered much.
I feel that I have given pain By certain words and deeds, But stricken here with Sorrow's rain, My contrite spirit bleeds.
For your sole sake I rue the blow, But this a.s.surance send: I smote, in noon, the public foe, But not the private friend.
I know that once I wronged your sire, But since that awful day My soul has pa.s.sed through blood and fire, My head is very grey.
Here let me pause! From years like yours There ever flows and thrives The splendid blessing which endures Beyond our little lives.
From lonely lands across the wave Is sent to-night by me This rose of reverence for the grave Beside the mountain lea.
At Her Window
To-night a strong south wind in thunder sings Across the city. Now by salt wet flats, And ridges perished with the breath of drought, Comes up a deep, sonorous, gulf-like voice-- Far-travelled herald of some distant storm-- That strikes with harsh gigantic wings the cliff, Where twofold Otway meets his straitened surf, And makes a white wrath of a league of sea.
To-night the fretted Yarra chafes its banks, And dusks and glistens; while the city shows A ring of windy light. From street to street The noise of labour, linked to hurrying wheels, Rolls off, as rolls the stately sound of wave, When he that hears it hastens from the sh.o.r.e.
To-night beside a moody window sits A wife who watches for her absent love; Her home is in a dim suburban street, In which the winds, like one with straitened breath, Now fleet with whispers dry and short half-sobs, Or pause and beat against the showery panes Like homeless mem'ries seeking for a home.
There, where the plopping of the guttered rain Sounds like a heavy footstep in the dark, Where every shadow thrown by flickering light Seems like her husband halting at the door, I say a woman sits, and waits, and sits, Then trims her fire, and comes to wait again.
The chapel clock strikes twelve! He has not come.
The night grows wilder, and the wind dies off The roads, now turned to thoroughfares of storm, Save when a solitary, stumbling foot Breaks through the clamour. Then the watcher starts, And trembles, with her hand upon the key, And flutters, with the love upon her lips; Then sighs, returns, and takes her seat once more.
Is this the old, old tale? Ah! do not ask, My gentle reader, but across your doubts Throw shining reasons on the happier side; Or, if you cannot choose but doubt the man-- If you do count him in your thoughts as one Who leaves a good wife by a lonely hearth For more than half the night, for scenes (we'll say) Of revelry--I pray you think of how That wretch must suffer in his waking times (If he be human), when he recollects That through the long, long hours of evil feasts With painted sin, and under glaring gas, His brightest friend was at a window-sill A watcher, seated in a joyless room, And haply left without a loaf of bread.
I, having learnt from sources pure and high, From springs of love that make the perfect wife, Can say how much a woman will endure For one to whom her tender heart has pa.s.sed.
When fortune fails, and friends drop off, and time Has shadows waiting in predestined ways-- When shame that grows from want of money comes, And sets its brand upon a husband's brow, And makes him walk an alien in the streets: One faithful face, on which a light divine Becomes a glory when vicissitude Is in its darkest mood--one face, I say, Marks not the fallings-off that others see, Seeks not to know the thoughts that others think, Cares not to hear the words that others say: But, through her deep and self-sufficing love, She only sees the bright-eyed youth that won Her maiden heart in other, happier days, And not the silent, gloomy-featured man That frets and shivers by a sullen fire.
And, therefore, knowing this from you, who've shared With me the ordeal of most trying times, I sometimes feel a hot shame flushing up, To think that there are those among my s.e.x Who are so cursed with small-souled selfishness That they do give to n.o.ble wives like you, For love--that first and final flower of life-- The dreadful portion of a drunkard's home.
William Bede Dalley
That love of letters which is as the light Of deathless verse, intense, ineffable, Hath made this scholar's nature like the white, Pure Roman soul of whom the poets tell.
He having lived so long with lords of thought, The grand hierophants of speech and song, Hath from the high, august communion caught Some portion of their inspiration strong.
The clear, bright atmosphere through which he looks Is one by no dim, close horizon bound; The power shed as flame from n.o.ble books Hath made for him a larger world around.
And he, thus strengthened with the fourfold force Which scholarship to genius gives, is one That liberal thinkers, pausing in their course, With fine esteem are glad to look upon.
He, with the faultless intuition born Of splendid faculties, sees things aright, And all his strong, immeasurable scorn Falls like a thunder on the hypocrite.
But for the sufferer and the son of shame On whom remorse--a great, sad burden--lies, His kindness glistens like a morning flame, Immense compa.s.sion shines within his eyes.
Firm to the Church by which his fathers stood, But tolerant to every form of creed, He longs for universal brotherhood, And is a Christian gentleman indeed.
These in his honour. May his life be long, And, like a summer with a brilliant close, As full of music as a perfect song, As radiant as a rich, unhandled rose.
To the Spirit of Music
The cool gra.s.s blowing in a breeze Of April valleys sooms and sways; On slopes that dip to quiet seas Through far, faint drifts of yellowing haze.
I lie like one who, in a dream Of sounds and splendid coloured things, Seems lifted into life supreme And has a sense of waxing wings.
For through a great arch-light which floods And breaks and spreads and swims along High royal-robed autumnal woods, I hear a glorious sunset song.
But, ah, Euterpe! I that pause And listen to the strain divine Can never learn its words, because I am no son of thine.