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The Poems Of Henry Kendall Part 7

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Through many a fragrant cedar grove A darkened water moans; And there pale Memory stood with Love Amongst the moss-green stones.

The shimmering sunlight fell and kissed The gra.s.stree's golden sheaves; But we were troubled with a mist Of music in the leaves.

One pa.s.sed us, like a sudden gleam; Her face was deadly fair.

"Oh, go," we said, "you homeless Dream Of Ella's shining hair!

"We halt, like one with tired wings, And we would fain forget That there are tempting, maddening things Too high to clutch at yet!



"Though seven Springs have filled the Wood With pleasant hints and signs, Since faltering feet went forth and stood With Death amongst the pines."

From point to point unwittingly We wish to clamber still, Till we have light enough to see The summits of the hill.

"O do not cry, my sister dear,"

Said beaming Hope to Love, "Though we have been so troubled here The Land is calm above;

"Beyond the regions of the storm We'll find the golden gates, Where, all the day, a radiant Form, Our Ella, sits and waits."

And Memory murmured: "She was one Of G.o.d's own darlings lent; And Angels wept that she had gone, And wondered why she went.

"I know they came, and talked to her, Through every garden breeze, About eternal Hills of Myrrh, And quiet Jasper Seas.

"For her the Earth contained no charms; All things were strange and wild; And I believe a Seraph's arms Caught up the sainted Child."

And Love looked round, and said: "Oh, you That sit by Beulah's streams, Shake on this thirsty life the dew Which brings immortal dreams!

"Ah! turn to us, and greet us oft With looks of pitying balm, And hints of heaven, in whispers soft, To make our troubles calm.

"My Ella with the shining hair, Behold, these many years, We've held up wearied hands in prayer; And groped about in tears."

But Hope sings on: "Beyond the storm We'll find the golden gates Where, all the day, a radiant Form, Our Ella, sits and waits."

The Barcoo

(The Squatters' Song)

From the runs of the Narran, wide-dotted with sheep, And loud with the lowing of cattle, We speed for a land where the strange forests sleep And the hidden creeks bubble and brattle!

Now call on the horses, and leave the blind courses And sources of rivers that all of us know; For, crossing the ridges, and pa.s.sing the ledges, And running up gorges, we'll come to the verges Of gullies where waters eternally flow.

Oh! the herds they will rush down the spurs of the hill To feed on the gra.s.ses so cool and so sweet; And I think that my life with delight will stand still When we halt with the pleasant Barcoo at our feet.

Good-bye to the Barwon, and brigalow scrubs, Adieu to the Culgoa ranges, But look for the mulga and salt-bitten shrubs, Though the face of the forest-land changes.

The leagues we may travel down beds of hot gravel, And clay-crusted reaches where moisture hath been, While searching for waters, may vex us and thwart us, Yet who would be quailing, or fainting, or failing?

Not you, who are men of the Narran, I ween!

When we leave the dry channels away to the south, And reach the far plains we are journeying to, We will cry, though our lips may be glued with the drouth, Hip, hip, and hurrah for the pleasant Barcoo!

Bells Beyond the Forest

Wild-eyed woodlands, here I rest me, underneath the gaunt and ghastly trees; Underneath fantastic-fronted caverns crammed with many a m.u.f.fled breeze.

Far away from dusky towns and cities twinkling with the feet of men; Listening to a sound of mellow music fleeting down the gusty glen; Sitting by a rapid torrent, with the broken sunset in my face; By a rapid, roaring torrent, tumbling through a dark and lonely place!

And I hear the bells beyond the forest, and the voice of distant streams; And a flood of swelling singing, wafting round a world of ruined dreams.

Like to one who watches daylight dying from a lofty mountain spire, When the autumn splendour scatters like a gust of faintly-gleaming fire; So the silent spirit looketh through a mist of faded smiles and tears, While across it stealeth all the sad and sweet divinity of years-- All the scenes of shine and shadow; light and darkness sleeping side by side When my heart was wedded to existence, as a bridegroom to his bride: While I travelled gaily onward with the vapours crowding in my wake, Deeming that the Present hid the glory where the promised Morn would break.

Like to one who, by the waters standing, marks the reeling ocean wave Moaning, hide his head all torn and shivered underneath his lonely cave, So the soul within me glances at the tides of Purpose where they creep, Dashed to fragments by the yawning ridges circling Life's tempestuous Deep!

Oh! the tattered leaves are dropping, dropping round me like a fall of rain; While the dust of many a broken aspiration sweeps my troubled brain; With the yearnings after Beauty, and the longings to be good and great; And the thoughts of catching Fortune, flying on the tardy wings of Fate.

Bells, beyond the forest chiming, where is all the inspiration now That was wont to flush my forehead, and to chase the pallor from my brow?

Did I not, amongst these thickets, weave my thoughts and pa.s.sions into rhyme, Trusting that the words were golden, hoping for the praise of after-time?

Where have all those fancies fled to? Can the fond delusion linger still, When the Evening withers o'er me, and the night is creeping up the hill?

If the years of strength have left me, and my life begins to fail and fade, Who will learn my simple ballads; who will stay to sing the songs I've made?

Bells, beyond the forest ringing, lo, I hasten to the world again; For the sun has smote the empty windows, and the day is on the wane!

Hear I not a dreamy echo, soughing through the rafters of the tree; Like a sound of stormy rivers, or the ravings of a restless sea?

Should I loiter here to listen, while this fitful wind is on the wing?

No, the heart of Time is sobbing, and my spirit is a withered thing!

Let the rapid torrents tumble, let the woodlands whistle in the blast; Mighty minstrels sing behind me, but the promise of my youth is past.

Ulmarra

Alone--alone!

With a heart like a stone, She maketh her moan At the feet of the trees, With her face on her knees, And her hair streaming over; Wildly, and wildly, and wildly; For she misses the tracks of her lover!

Do you hear her, Ulmarra?

Oh, where are the tracks of her lover?

Go by--go by!

They have told her a lie, Who said he was nigh, In the white-cedar glen-- In the camps of his men: And she sitteth there weeping-- Weeping, and weeping, and weeping, For the face of a warrior sleeping!

Do you hear her, Ulmarra?

Oh! where is her warrior sleeping?

A dream! a dream!

That they saw a bright gleam Through the dusk boughs stream, Where wild bees dwell, And a tomahawk fell, In moons which have faded; Faded, and faded, and faded, From woods where a chieftain lies shaded!

Do you hear her, Ulmarra?

Oh! where doth her chieftain lie shaded?

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The Poems Of Henry Kendall Part 7 summary

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