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The Poems Of Henry Kendall Part 59

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How sweet is wandering where the west Is full of thee, what time the morn Looks from his halls of rosy rest Across green miles of gleaming corn!

How sweet are dreams in shady nooks, When bees are out, and day is mute, While down the dell there floats the brook's Fine echo of thy marvellous lute!

And oh, how sweet is that sad tune Of thine, within the evening breeze, Which roams beneath the mirrored moon On silver-sleeping summer seas!

How blest are they whom thou hast crowned, Thy priests--the lords who understand The deep divinity of sound, And live their lives in Wonderland!

These stand within thy courts and see The light exceeding round thy throne, But I--an alien unto thee-- I faint afar off, and alone.



II

In hills where the keen Thessalonian Made clamour with horse and with horn, In oracular woods the Dodonian-- The mystical maiden was born.

And the high, the Olympian seven, Ringed round with ineffable flame, Baptized her in halos of heaven, And gave her her beautiful name.

And Delphicus, loving her, brought her Immutable dower of dreams, And clothed her with glory, and taught her The words of the winds and the streams.

She dwelt with the echoes that dwell In far immemorial hills; She wove of their speeches a spell-- She borrowed the songs of the rills; And anthems of forest and fire, And passionate psalms of the rain Had life in the life of the lyre, And breath in its infinite strain.

In a fair, in a floral abode, Of purple and yellow and red, The voice of her floated and flowed, The light of her lingered and spread, And ever there slipt through the bars Of the leaves of her luminous bowers, Syllables splendid as stars, And faultless as moon-litten flowers.

III

Lady of a land of wonder, Daughter of the hill supernal, Far from frost and far from thunder Under sons and moons eternal!

Long ago the strong Immortals Took her hence on wheels of fire, Caught her up and shut their portals-- Floral maid with fervent lyre.

But stray fallen notes of brightness Yet within our world are ringing, Floating on the winds of lightness Glorious fragments of her singing.

Bud of light, she shines above us; But a few of starry pinions-- Passioned souls who are her lovers-- Dwell in her divine dominions.

Few they are, but in the centric Fanes of Beauty hold their station; Kings of music, lords authentic, Of the worlds of Inspiration.

These are they to whom are given Eyes to see the singing stream-land, Far from earth and near to heaven, Known to gods and men as Dreamland.

Mournful humanity, stricken and worn, Toiling for peace in undignified days, Set in a sphere with the shadows forlorn, Seeing sublimity dimmed by a haze-- Mournful humanity wearing the sign Of trouble with time and unequable things, Long alienated from spaces divine, Sometimes remembers that once it had wings.

Chiefly it is when the song and the light Sweeten the heart of the summering west, Music and glory that lend to the night Glimpses of marvellous havens of rest.

Chiefly it is when the beautiful day Dies with a sound on its lips like a psalm-- Anthem of loveliness drifting away Over a sea of unspeakable calm.

Then Euterpe's harmonies In the ballad rich and rare, Freighted with old memories, Float upon the evening air-- Float, like shine in films of rain, Full of past pathetic themes, Tales of perished joy and pain, Frail and faint as dreams in dreams.

Then to far-off homes we rove, Homes of youth and hope and faith, Beautiful with lights of love-- Sanctified by shrines of death.

Ah! and in that quiet hour Soul by soul is borne away Over tracts of leaf and flower, Lit with a supernal day; Over Music-world serene, Spheres unknown to woes and wars, Homes of wildernesses green, Silver seas and golden shores; Then, like spirits glorified, Sweet to hear and bright to see, Lords in Eden they abide Robed with strange new majesty.

John Dunmore Lang

The song that is last of the many Whose music is full of thy name, Is weaker, O father! than any, Is fainter than flickering flame.

But far in the folds of the mountains Whose bases are hoary with sea, By lone immemorial fountains This singer is mourning for thee.

Because thou wert chief and a giant With those who fought on for the right A hero determined, defiant; As flame was the sleep of thy might.

Like Stephen in days that are olden, Thy lot with a rabble was cast, But seasons came on that were golden, And Peace was thy mother at last.

I knew of thy fierce tribulation, Thou wert ever the same in my thought-- The father and friend of a nation Through good and through evil report.

At Ephesus, fighting in fetters, Paul drove the wild beasts to their pen; So thou with the lash of thy letters Whipped infamy back to its den.

The noise of thy battle is over, Thy sword is hung up in its sheath; Thy grave has been decked by its lover With beauty of willowy wreath.

The winds sing about thee for ever, The voices of hill and of sea; But the cry of the conflict will never Bring sorrow again unto thee.

On a Baby Buried by the Hawkesbury

[_Lines sent to a Young Mother._]

A grace that was lent for a very few hours, By the bountiful Spirit above us; She sleeps like a flower in the land of the flowers, She went ere she knew how to love us.

Her music of Heaven was strange to this sphere, Her voice is a silence for ever; In the bitter, wild fall of a sorrowful year, We buried our bird by the river.

But the gold of the grass, and the green of the vine, And the music of wind and of water, And the torrent of song and superlative shine, Are close to our dear little daughter.

The months of the year are all gracious to her, A winter breath visits her never; She sleeps like a bird in a cradle of myrrh, By the banks of the beautiful river.

Song of the Shingle-Splitters

In dark wild woods, where the lone owl broods And the dingoes nightly yell-- Where the curlew's cry goes floating by, We splitters of shingles dwell.

And all day through, from the time of the dew To the hour when the mopoke calls, Our mallets ring where the woodbirds sing Sweet hymns by the waterfalls.

And all night long we are lulled by the song Of gales in the grand old trees; And in the brakes we can hear the lakes And the moan of the distant seas.

For afar from heat and dust of street, And hall and turret and dome, In forest deep, where the torrents leap, Is the shingle-splitter's home.

The dweller in town may lie upon down, And own his palace and park: We envy him not his prosperous lot, Though we slumber on sheets of bark.

Our food is rough, but we have enough; Our drink is better than wine: For cool creeks flow wherever we go, Shut in from the hot sunshine.

Though rude our roof, it is weather-proof, And at the end of the days We sit and smoke over yarn and joke, By the bush-fire's sturdy blaze.

For away from din and sorrow and sin, Where troubles but rarely come, We jog along, like a merry song, In the shingle-splitter's home.

What though our work be heavy, we shirk From nothing beneath the sun; And toil is sweet to those who can eat And rest when the day is done.

In the Sabbath-time we hear no chime, No sound of the Sunday bells; But yet Heaven smiles on the forest aisles, And God in the woodland dwells.

We listen to notes from the million throats Of chorister birds on high, Our psalm is the breeze in the lordly trees, And our dome is the broad blue sky.

Oh! a brave, frank life, unsmitten by strife, We live wherever we roam, And our hearts are free as the great strong sea, In the shingle-splitter's home.

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