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The Poems of Henry Kendall by Henry Kendall

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The many quick emotions which are born
Of an Imagination so intense!
The chargers' hoofs come tearing up the sward --
The claymores rattle in the restless sheath;
You close his page, and almost look abroad
For Highland glens and windy leagues of heath.

Let me here endeavour to draw the fair distinctions between the great writers,
or some of the great writers, of Scott's day; borrowing at the same time
a later name. I shall start with that strange figure, Percy Bysshe Shelley.
He was too subjective to be merely a descriptive poet,
too metaphysical to be vague, and too imaginative to be didactic.
As Scott was the most dramatic, Wordsworth the most profound,
Byron the most passionate, so Shelley was the most spiritual writer
of his time. Scott's poetry was the result of vivid emotion,
Wordsworth's of quiet observation, Byron's of passion,
and Shelley's of passion and reflection. Scott races like a torrent,
Byron rolls like a sea, Wordsworth ripples into a lake,
Tennyson flows like a river, and Shelley gushes like a fountain.
As Tennyson is the most harmonious, so Shelley is the most musical
of modern bards. I fear to touch upon that grand old man, Coleridge;
he appears to me so utterly apart from his contemporaries. He stands,
like Teneriffe, alone. Can I liken him to a magnificent thunder-scorched crag
with its summits eternally veiled in vapour? -- H.K.

The Bereaved One

She sleeps -- and I see through a shadowy haze,
Where the hopes of the past and the dreams that I cherished
In the sunlight of brighter and happier days,
As the mists of the morning, have faded and perished.
She sleeps -- and will waken to bless me no more;
Her life has died out like the gleam on the river,
And the bliss that illumined my bosom of yore
Has fled from its dwelling for ever and ever.

I had thought in this life not to travel alone,
I had hoped for a mate in my joys and my sorrow --
But the face of my idol is colder than stone,
And my path will be lonely without her to-morrow.
I was hoping to bask in the light of her smile
When Fortune and Fame with their laurels had crown'd me --
But the fire in her eyes has been dying the while,
And the thorns of affliction are planted around me.

There are those that may vent all their grief in their tears
And weep till the past is away in the distance;
But this wreck of the dream of my sunshiny years
Will hang like a cloud o'er the rest of existence.
In the depth of my soul she shall ever remain;
My thoughts, like the angels, shall hover about her;
For our hearts have been reft and divided in pain
And what is this world to be left in without her?


Here, pent about by office walls
And barren eyes all day,
'Tis sweet to think of waterfalls
Two hundred miles away!

I would not ask you, friends, to brook
An old, old truth from me,
If I could shut a Poet's book
Which haunts me like the Sea!

He saith to me, this Poet saith,
So many things of light,
That I have found a fourfold faith,
And gained a twofold sight.

He telleth me, this Poet tells,
How much of God is seen
Amongst the deep-mossed English dells,
And miles of gleaming green.

From many a black Gethsemane,
He leads my bleeding feet
To where I hear the Morning Sea
Round shining spaces beat!

To where I feel the wind, which brings
A sound of running creeks,
And blows those dark, unpleasant things,
The sorrows, from my cheeks.

I'll shut mine eyes, my Poet choice,
And spend the day with thee;
I'll dream thou art a fountain voice
Which God hath sent to me!

And far beyond these office walls
My thoughts shall even stray,
And watch the wilful waterfalls,
Two hundred miles away.

For, if I know not of thy deeds,
And darling Kentish downs,
I've seen the deep, wild Dungog fells,
And ~hate~ the heart of towns!

Then, ho! for beaming bank and brake,
Far-folded hills among,
Where Williams,* like a silver snake,
Draws winding lengths along!

* A tributary of the river Hunter, after Hunter, on which Dungog stands.

And ho! for stormy mountain cones,
Where headlong Winter leaps,
What time the gloomy swamp-oak groans,
And weeps and wails and weeps.

~There~, friends, are spots of sleepy green,
Where one may hear afar,
O'er fifteen leagues of waste, I ween,
A moaning harbour bar!

(The sea that breaks, and beats and shakes
The caverns, howling loud,
Beyond the midnight Myall Lakes,*
And half-awakened Stroud!)**

* A chain of lakes near Port Stephens, N.S.W.
** A town on the Karuah, which flows into Port Stephens.

There, through the fretful autumn days,
Beneath a cloudy sun,
Comes rolling down rain-rutted ways,
The wind, Euroclydon!

While rattles over riven rocks
The thunder, harsh and dry;
And blustering gum and brooding box
Are threshing at the sky!

And then the gloom doth vex the sight
With crude, unshapely forms
Which hold throughout the yelling night
A fellowship with storms!

But here are shady tufts and turns,
Where sumptuous Summer lies
(By reaches brave with flags and ferns)
With large, luxuriant eyes.

And here, another getteth ease --
Our Spring, so rarely seen,
Who shows us in the cedar trees
A glimpse of golden green.

What time the flapping bats have trooped
Away like ghosts to graves,
And darker growths than Night are cooped
In silent, hillside caves.

Ah, Dungog, dream of darling days,
'Tis better thou should'st be
A far-off thing to love and praise --
A boon from Heaven to me!

For, let me say that when I look
With wearied eyes on men,
I think of one unchanging nook,
And find my faith again.

Deniehy's Lament

Spirit of Loveliness! Heart of my heart!
Flying so far from me, Heart of my heart!
Above the eastern hill, I know the red leaves thrill,
But thou art distant still, Heart of my heart!

Sinning, I've searched for thee, Heart of my heart!
Sinning, I've dreamed of thee, Heart of my heart!
I know no end nor gain; amongst the paths of pain
I follow thee in vain, Heart of my heart!

Much have I lost for thee, Heart of my heart!
Not counting the cost for thee, Heart of my heart!
Through all this year of years thy form as mist appears,
So blind am I with tears, Heart of my heart!

Mighty and mournful now, Heart of my heart!
Cometh the Shadow-Face, Heart of my heart!
The friends I've left for thee, their sad eyes trouble me --
I cannot bear to be, Heart of my heart!

Deniehy's Dream

Just when the western light
Flickered out dim,
Flushing the mountain-side,
Summit and rim,
A last, low, lingering gleam
Fell on a yellow stream,
And then there came a dream
Shining to him.

Splendours miraculous
Mixed with his pain
All like a vision of
Radiance and rain!
He faced the sea, the skies,
Old star-like thoughts did rise;
But tears were in his eyes,
Stifled in vain.

Infinite tokens of
Sorrows set free
Came in the dreaming wind
Far from the sea!
Past years about him trooped,
Fair phantoms round him stooped,
Sweet faces o'er him drooped
Sad as could be!

"This is our brother now:
Sisters, deplore
Man without purpose, like
Ship without shore!
He tracks false fire," one said,
"But weep you -- he must tread
Whereto he may be led --
Lost evermore."

"Look," said another,
"Summit and slope
Burn, in the mountain-land --
Basement and cope!
Till daylight, dying dim,
Faints on the world's red rim,
We'll tint this Dream for him
Even -- with hope!"

Cui Bono?

A clamour by day and a whisper by night,
And the Summer comes -- with the shining noons,
With the ripple of leaves, and the passionate light
Of the falling suns and the rising moons.

And the ripple of leaves and the purple and red
Die for the grapes and the gleam of the wheat,
And then you may pause with the splendours, or tread
On the yellow of Autumn with lingering feet.

You may halt with the face to a flying sea,
Or stand like a gloom in the gloom of things,
When the moon drops down and the desolate lea
Is troubled with thunder and desolate wings.

But alas for the grey of the wintering eves,
And the pondering storms and the ruin of rains;
And alas for the Spring like a flame in the leaves,
And the green of the woods and the gold of the lanes!

For, seeing all pathos is mixed with our past,
And knowing all sadness of storm and of surge
Is salt with our tears for the faith that was cast
Away like a weed o'er a bottomless verge,

I am lost for these tokens, and wearied of ways
Wedded with ways that are waning amain,
Like those that are filled with the trouble that slays;
Having drunk of their life to the lees that are pain.

And yet I would write to you! I who have turned
Away with a bitter disguise in the eyes,
And bitten the lips that have trembled and burned
Alone for you, darling, and breaking with sighs.

Because I have touched with my fingers a dress
That was Beauty's; because that the breath of thy mouth
Is sweetness that lingers; because of each tress
Showered down on thy shoulders; because of the drouth

That came in thy absence; because of the lights
In the Passion that grew to a level with thee --
Is it well that our lives have been filled with the nights
And the days which have made it a sorrow to be?

Yea, thus having tasted all love with thy lips,
And having the warmth of thy hand in mine own,
Is it well that we wander, like parallel ships,
With the silence between us, aloof and alone?

With my face to the wall shall I sleep and forget
The shadow, the sweet sense of slumber denies,
If even I marvel at kindness, and fret,
And start while the tears are all wet in mine eyes?

Oh, darling of mine, standing here with the Past,
Trampled under our feet in the bitterest ways,
Is this speech like a ghost that it keeps us aghast
On the track of the thorns and in alien days?

When I know of you, love, how you break with our pain,
And sob for the sorrow of sorrowful dreams,
Like a stranger who stands in the wind and the rain
And watches and wails by impassable streams:

Like a stranger who droops on a brink and deplores,
With famishing hands and frost in the feet,
For the laughter alive on the opposite shores
With the fervour of fire and the wind of the wheat.

In Hyde Park

* [This and the next poem were written for "Prince Alfred's Wreath",
published in Sydney in 1868. While in Sydney, the Prince was shot at
by a fanatic and slightly injured.]

They come from the highways of labour,
From labour and leisure they come;
But not to the sound of the tabor,
And not to the beating of drum.

By thousands the people assemble
With faces of shadow and flame,
And spirits that sicken and tremble
Because of their sorrow and shame!

Their voice is the voice of a nation;
But lo, it is muffled and mute,
For the sword of a strong tribulation
Hath stricken their peace to the root.

The beautiful tokens of pity
Have utterly fled from their eyes,
For the demon who darkened the city
Is curst in the breaking of sighs.

Their thoughts are as one; and together
They band in their terrible ire,
Like legions of wind in fierce weather
Whose footsteps are thunder and fire.

But for ever, like springs of sweet water
That sings in the grass-hidden leas
As soft as the voice of a daughter,
There cometh a whisper from these.

There cometh from shame and dejection,
From wrath and the blackness thereof,
A word at whose heart is affection
With a sighing whose meaning is love.

In the land of distress and of danger,
With their foreheads in sackcloth and dust,
They weep for the wounds of the Stranger
And mourn o'er the ashes of trust!

They weep for the Prince, and the Mother
Whose years have been smitten of grief --
For the son and the lord and the brother,
And the widow, the queen and the chief!

But he, having moved like a splendour
Amongst them in happier days,
With the grace that is manly and tender
And the kindness that passes all praise,

Will think, in the sickness and shadow,
Of greetings in forest and grove,
And welcome in city and meadow,
Nor couple this sin with their love.

For the sake of the touching devotion
That sobs through the depths of their woe,
This son of the kings of the ocean,
As he came to them, trusting will go.

Australia Vindex

Who cometh from fields of the south
With raiment of weeping and woe,
And a cry of the heart in her mouth,
And a step that is muffled and slow?

Her paths are the paths of the sun;
Her house is a beautiful light;
But she boweth her head, and is one
With the daughters of dolour and night.

She is fairer than flowers of love;
She is fiercer than wind-driven flame;
And God from His thunders above
Hath smitten the soul of her shame.

She saith to the bloody one curst
With the fever of evil, she saith
"My sorrow shall strangle thee first
With an agony wilder than death!

"My sorrow shall hack at thy life!
Thou shalt wrestle with wraiths of thy sin,
And sleep on a pillow of strife
With demons without and within!"

She whispers, "He came to the land
A lord and a lover of me --
A son of the waves with a hand
As fearless and frank as the sea.

"On the shores of the stranger he stood
With the sweetness of youth on his face;
Till there started a fiend from the wood,
Who stabbed at the peace of the place!

"Because of the dastardly thing
Thou hast done in the sight of the day,
All horrors that sicken and sting
Shall make thee for ever their prey.

"Because of the beautiful trust
Destroyed by a devil like thee,
Thy bed shall be low in the dust
And my heel as a shackle shall be!

"Because" (and she mutters it deep
Who curseth the coward in chains)
"Thou hast stricken and murdered our sleep,
Thy sleep shall be perished with pains;

"Thy sleep shall be broken and sharp
And filled with fierce spasms and dreams,
And shadow shall haunt thee and harp
On hellish and horrible themes!

"I will set my right hand on thy neck
And my foot on thy body, nor bate,
Till thy name shall become as a wreck
And a byword for hisses and hate!"

Ned the Larrikin

A song that is bitter with grief -- a ballad as pale as the light
That comes with the fall of the leaf, I sing to the shadows to-night.

The laugh on the lyrical lips is sadder than laughter of ghosts
Chained back in the pits of eclipse by wailing unnameable coasts.

I gathered this wreath at the close of day that was dripping with dew;
The blossom you take for a rose was plucked from the branch of a yew.

The flower you fancy is sweet has black in the place of the red;
For this is a song of the street -- the ballad of larrikin Ned.

He stands at the door of the sink that gapes like a fissure of death:
The face of him fiery with drink, the flame of its fume in his breath.

He thrives in the sickening scenes that the devil has under his ban;
A rascal not out of his teens with the voice of a vicious old man.

A blossom of blackness, indeed -- of Satan a sinister fruit!
Far better the centipede's seed -- the spawn of the adder or newt.

Than terror of talon or fang this imp of the alleys is worse:
His speech is a poisonous slang -- his phrases are coloured with curse.

The prison, the shackles, and chain are nothing to him and his type:
He sings in the shadow of pain, and laughs at the impotent stripe.

There under the walls of the gaols the half of his life has been passed.
He was born in the bosom of bale -- he will go to the gallows at last.

No angel in Paradise kneels for him at the feet of the Lord;
A Nemesis follows his heels in the flame of a sinister sword.

The sins of his fathers have brought this bitterness into his days --
His life is accounted as naught; his soul is a brand for the blaze.

Did ever his countenance change? Did ever a moment supreme
Illumine his face with a strange ineffably beautiful dream?

Before he was caught in the breach -- in the pits of iniquity grim,
Did ever the Deity reach the hand of a Father to him?

Behold, it is folly to say the evil was born in the blood;
The rose that is cankered to-day was once an immaculate bud!

There might have been blossom and fruit -- a harvest exceedingly fair,
Instead of the venomous root, and flowers that startle and scare.

The burden -- the burden is their's who, watching this garden about,
Assisted the thistle and tares, and stamped the divinity out!

A growth like the larrikin Ned -- a brutal unqualified clod,
Is what ye are helping who'd tread on the necks of the prophets of God.

No more than a damnable weed ye water and foster, ye fools,
Whose aim is to banish indeed the beautiful Christ from the schools.

The merciful, wonderful light of the seraph Religion behold
These evil ones shut from the sight of the children who weep in the cold!

But verily trouble shall fall on such, and their portion shall be
A harvest of hyssop and gall, and sorrow as wild as the sea.

For the rose of a radiant star is over the hills of the East,
And the fathers are heartened for war --
the prophet, the Saint, and the priest.

For a spirit of Deity makes the holy heirophants strong;
And a morning of majesty breaks, and blossoms in colour and song.

Yea, now, by the altars august the elders are shining supreme;
And brittle and barren as dust is the spiritless secular dream.

It's life as a vapour shall end as a fog in the fall of the year;
For the Lord is a Father and Friend, and the day of His coming is near.

~In Memoriam~ -- Nicol Drysdale Stenhouse

Shall he, on whom the fair lord, Delphicus,
Turned gracious eyes and countenance of shine,
Be left to lie without a wreath from us,
To sleep without a flower upon his shrine?

Shall he, the son of that resplendent Muse,
Who gleams, high priestess of sweet scholarship,
Still slumber on, and every bard refuse
To touch a harp or move a tuneful lip?

No! let us speak, though feeble be our speech,
And let us sing, though faltering be our strain,
And haply echoes of the song may reach
And please the soul we cannot see again.

We sing the beautiful, the radiant life
That shone amongst us like the quiet moon,
A fine exception in this sphere of strife,
Whose time went by us like a hallowed tune.

Yon tomb, whereon the moonlit grasses sigh,
Hides from our view the shell of one whose days
Were set throughout to that grand harmony
Which fills all minor spirits with amaze.

This was the man whose dear, lost face appears
To rise betimes like some sweet evening dream,
And holy memories of faultless years,
And touching hours of quietness supreme.

He, having learned in full the golden rule,
Which guides great lives, stood fairly by the same,
Unruffled as the Oriental pool,
Before the bright, disturbing angel came.

In Learning's halls he walked -- a leading lord,
He trod the sacred temple's inner floors;
But kindness beamed in every look and word
He gave the humblest Levite at the doors.

When scholars poor and bowed beneath the ban,
Which clings as fire, were like to faint and fall,
This was the gentle, good Samaritan,
Who stopped and held a helping hand to all.

No term that savoured of unfriendliness,
No censure through those pure lips ever passed;
He saw the erring spirit's keen distress,
And hoped for it, long-suffering to the last.

Moreover, in these days when Faith grows faint,
And Heaven seems blurred by speculation wild,
He, blameless as a mediaeval saint,
Had all the trust which sanctifies a child.

But now he sleeps, and as the years go by,
We'll often pause above his sacred dust,
And think how grand a thing it is to die
The noble death which deifies the just.


Said one who led the spears of swarthy Gad,
To Jesse's mighty son: "My Lord, O King,
I, halting hard by Gibeon's bleak-blown hill
Three nightfalls past, saw dark-eyed Rizpah, clad
In dripping sackcloth, pace with naked feet
The flinty rock where lie unburied yet
The sons of her and Saul; and he whose post
Of watch is in those places desolate,
Got up, and spake unto thy servant here
Concerning her -- yea, even unto me: --
`Behold,' he said, `the woman seeks not rest,
Nor fire, nor food, nor roof, nor any haunt
Where sojourns man; but rather on yon rock
Abideth, like a wild thing, with the slain,
And watcheth them, lest evil wing or paw
Should light upon the comely faces dead,
To spoil them of their beauty. Three long moons
Hath Rizpah, daughter of Aiah, dwelt
With drouth and cold and rain and wind by turns,
And many birds there are that know her face,
And many beasts that flee not at her step,
And many cunning eyes do look at her
From serpent-holes and burrows of the rat.
Moreover,' spake the scout, `her skin is brown
And sere by reason of exceeding heat;
And all her darkness of abundant hair
Is shot with gray, because of many nights
When grief hath crouched in fellowship with frost
Upon that desert rock. Yea, thus and thus
Fares Rizpah,' said the spy, O King, to me."

But David, son of Jesse, spake no word,
But turned himself, and wept against the wall.

We have our Rizpahs in these modern days
Who've lost their households through no sin of theirs,
On bloody fields and in the pits of war;
And though their dead were sheltered in the sod
By friendly hands, these have not suffered less
Than she of Judah did, nor is their love
Surpassed by hers. The Bard who, in great days
Afar off yet, shall set to epic song
The grand pathetic story of the strife
That shook America for five long years,
And struck its homes with desolation -- he
Shall in his lofty verse relate to men
How, through the heat and havoc of that time,
Columbia's Rachael in her Rama wept
Her children, and would not be comforted;
And sing of Woman waiting day by day
With that high patience that no man attains,
For tidings, from the bitter field, of spouse,
Or son, or brother, or some other love
Set face to face with Death. Moreover, he
Shall say how, through her sleepless hours at night,
When rain or leaves were dropping, every noise
Seemed like an omen; every coming step
Fell on her ears like a presentiment
And every hand that rested on the door
She fancied was a herald bearing grief;
While every letter brought a faintness on
That made her gasp before she opened it,
To read the story written for her eyes,
And cry, or brighten, over its contents.

Kiama Revisited

We stood by the window and hearkened
To the voice of the runnels sea-driven,
While, northward, the mountain-heads darkened,
Girt round with the clamours of heaven.
One peak with the storm at his portal
Loomed out to the left of his brothers:
Sustained, and sublime, and immortal,
A king, and the lord of the others!
Beneath him a cry from the surges
Rang shrill, like a clarion calling;
And about him, the wind of the gorges
Went falling, and rising, and falling.
But ~I~, as the roofs of the thunder
Were cloven with manifold fires,
Turned back from the wail and the wonder,
And dreamed of old days and desires.
A song that was made, I remembered --
A song that was made in the gloaming
Of suns which are sunken and numbered
With times that my heart hath no home in.
But I said to my Dream, "I am calmer
Than waters asleep on the river.
I can look at the hills of Kiama
And bury that dead Past for ever."
"Past sight, out of mind, alienated,"
Said the Dream to me, wearily sighing,
"Ah, where is the Winter you mated
To Love, its decline and its dying?
Here, five years ago, there were places
That knew of her cunning to grieve you,
But alas! for her eyes and her graces;
And wherefore and how did she leave you!
Have you hidden the ways of this Woman,
Her whispers, her glances, her power
To hold you, as demon holds human,
Chained back to the day and the hour?
Say, where have you buried her sweetness,
Her coldness for youth and its yearning?
Is the sleep of your Sorrow a witness
She is passed all the roads of returning?
Was she left with her beauty, O lover,
And the shreds of your passion about her,
Beyond reach and where none can discover?
~Ah! what is the wide world without her?~"

I answered, "Behold, I was broken,
Because of this bright, bitter maiden,
Who helped me with never a token
To beat down the dark I had strayed in.
She knew that my soul was entangled
By what was too fiery to bear then;
Nor cared how she withered and strangled
My life with her eyes and her hair then.
But I have not leapt to the level
Where light and the shadows dissever?
She is fair, but a beautiful devil
That I have forgotten for ever!"
"She is sweeter than music or singing,"
Said the Dream to me, heavily moaning,
"Her voice in your slumber is ringing;
And where is the end -- the atoning?
Can you look at the red of the roses;
Are you friend of the fields and the flowers?
Can you bear the faint day as it closes
And dies into twilighted hours?
Do you love the low notes of the ballad
She sang in her darling old fashion?"
And I whispered, "O Dream, I am pallid
And perished because of my passion."
But the Wraith withered out, and the rifted
Gray hills gleaming over the granges,
Stood robed with moon-rainbows that shifted
And shimmered resplendent with changes!
While, for the dim ocean ledges,
The storm and the surges were blended,
Sheer down the bluff sides of the ridges
Spent winds and the waters descended.
The forests, the crags, and the forelands,
Grew sweet with the stars after raining;
But out in the north-lying moorlands,
I heard the lone plover complaining.
From these to Kiama, half-hidden
In a yellow sea-mist on the slopings
Of hills, by the torrents be-ridden,
I turned with my aches and my hopings,
Saying ~this~ -- "There are those that are taken
By Fate to wear Love as a raiment
Whose texture is trouble with breaking
Of youth and no hope of repayment."

Passing Away

The spirit of beautiful faces,
The light on the forehead of Love,
And the spell of past visited places,
And the songs and the sweetness thereof;
These, touched by a hand that is hoary;
These, vext with a tune of decay,
Are spoiled of their glow and their glory;
And the burden is, "Passing away!
Passing away!"

Old years and their changes come trooping
At nightfall to you and to me,
When Autumn sits faded and drooping
By the sorrowful waves of the sea.
Faint phantoms that float in the gloaming,
Return with the whispers that say,
"The end which is quiet is coming;
Ye are weary, and passing away!
Passing away!"

It is hard to awake and discover
The swiftness that waits upon Time;
But youth and its beauty are over,
And Love has a sigh in its rhyme.
The Life that looks back and remembers,
Is troubled and tired and gray,
And sick of the sullen Decembers,
Whose burden is, "Passing away!
Passing away!"

We have wandered and wandered together,
And our joys have been many and deep;
But seasons of alien weather
Have ended in longings for sleep.
Pale purpose and perishing passion,
With never a farewell to say,
Die down into sobs of suppression;
The burden is, "Passing away!
Passing away!"

We loved the soft tangle of tresses,
The lips that were fain and afraid.
And the silence of far wildernesses,
With their dower of splendour and shade!
For faces of sweetness we waited,
And days of delight and delay,
Ere Time and its voices were mated
To a voice that sighs, "Passing away!
Passing away!"

O years interwoven with stories
Of strong aspirations and high,
How fleet and how false were the glories
That lived in your limited sky!
Here, sitting by ruinous altars
Of Promise, what word shall we say
To the speech that the rainy wind falters,
Whose burden is, "Passing away!
Passing away!"

James Lionel Michael

Be his rest the rest he sought:
Calm and deep.
Let no wayward word or thought
Vex his sleep.

Peace -- the peace that no man knows --
Now remains
Where the wasted woodwind blows,
Wakes and wanes.

Latter leaves, in Autumn's breath,
White and sere,
Sanctify the scholar's death,
Lying here.

Soft surprises of the sun --
Swift, serene --
O'er the mute grave-grasses run,
Cold and green.

Wet and cold the hillwinds moan;
Let them rave!
Love that takes a tender tone
Lights his grave.

He who knew the friendless face
Sorrows shew,
Often sought this quiet place
Years ago.

One, too apt to faint and fail,
Loved to stray
Here where water-shallows wail
Day by day.

Care that lays her heavy hand
On the best,
Bound him with an iron hand;
Let him rest.

Life, that flieth like a tune,
Left his eyes,
As an April afternoon
Leaves the skies.

Peace is best! If life was hard
Peace came next.
Thus the scholar, thus the bard,
Lies unvext.

Safely housed at last from rack --
Far from pain;
Who would wish to have him back?
Back again?

Let the forms he loved so well
Hover near;
Shine of hill and shade of dell,
Year by year.

All the wilful waifs that make
Beauty's face,
Let them sojourn for his sake
Round this place.

Flying splendours, singing streams,
Lutes and lights,
May they be as happy dreams:
Sounds and sights;

So that Time to Love may say,
"Wherefore weep?
Sweet is sleep at close of day!
Death is sleep."


Into that good old Hebrew's soul sublime
The spirit of the wilderness had passed;
For where the thunders of imperial Storm
Rolled over mighty hills; and where the caves
Of cloud-capt Horeb rang with hurricane;
And where wild-featured Solitude did hold
Supreme dominion; there the prophet saw
And heard and felt that large mysterious life
Which lies remote from cities, in the woods
And rocks and waters of the mountained Earth.
And so it came to pass, Elijah caught
That scholarship which gave him power to see
And solve the deep divinity that lies
With Nature, under lordly forest-domes,
And by the seas; and so his spirit waxed,
Made strong and perfect by its fellowship
With God's authentic world, until his eyes
Became a splendour, and his face was as
A glory with the vision of the seer.
Thereafter, thundering in the towns of men,
His voice, a trumpet of the Lord, did shake
All evil to its deep foundations. He,
The hairy man who ran before the king,
Like some wild spectre fleeting through the storm,
What time Jezreel's walls were smitten hard
By fourfold wind and rain; 'twas he who slew
The liars at the altars of the gods,
And, at the very threshold of a throne,
Heaped curses on its impious lord; 'twas he
Jehovah raised to grapple Sin that stalked,
Arrayed about with kingship; and to strike
Through gold and purple, to the heart of it.
And therefore Falsehood quaked before his face,
And Tyranny grew dumb at sight of him,
And Lust and Murder raged abroad no more;
But where these were he walked, a shining son
Of Truth, and cleared and sanctified the land.

Not always was the dreaded Tishbite stern;
The scourge of despots, when he saw the face
Of Love in sorrow by the bed of Death,
Grew tender as a maid; and she who missed
A little mouth that used to catch, and cling --
A small, sweet trouble -- at her yearning breast;*
Yea, she of Zarephath, who sat and mourned
The silence of a birdlike voice that made
Her flutter with the joy of motherhood
In other days, she came to know the heart
Of Pity that the rugged prophet had.
And when he took the soft, still child away,
And laid it on his bed; and in the dark
Sent up a pleading voice to Heaven; and drew
The little body to his breast; and held
It there until the bright, young soul returned
To earth again; the gladdened woman saw
A radiant beauty in Elijah's eyes,
And knew the stranger was a man of God.

* [Note. -- These lines were suggested by a passage in an unpublished drama
by my friend, the author of "Ashtaroth" {A. L. Gordon} --

"And she who missed
A little mouth that used to catch and cling --
A small sweet trouble -- at her yearning breast."

The poem to which I am indebted is entitled "The Road to Avernus".
It is only fair that I should make this acknowledgment. -- H.K.]

We want a new Elijah in these days,
A mighty spirit clad in shining arms
Of Truth -- yea, one whose lifted voice would break,
Like thunder, on our modern Apathy,
And shake the fanes of Falsehood from their domes
Down to the firm foundations; one whose words,
Directly coming from a source divine,
Would fall like flame where Vice holds festival,
And search the inmost heart of nations; one
Made godlike with that scholarship supreme
Which comes of suffering; one, with eyes to see
The very core of things; with hands to grasp
High opportunities, and use them for
His glorious mission; one, whose face inspired
Would wear a terror for the lying soul,
But seem a glory in the sight of those
Who make the light and sweetness of the world,
And are the high priests of the Beautiful.
Yea, one like this we want amongst us now
To drive away the evil fogs that choke
Our social atmosphere, and leave it clear
And pure and hallowed with authentic light.


Manasseh, lord of Judah, and the son
Of him who, favoured of Jehovah, saw
At midnight, when the skies were flushed with fire,
The splendid mystery of the shining air,
That flamed above the black Assyrian camps,
And breathed upon the evil hosts at rest,
And shed swift violent sleep into their eyes;
Manasseh, lord of Judah, when he came
To fortify himself upon his throne,
And saw great strength was gathered unto him,
Let slip satanic passions he had nursed
For years and years; and lo! the land that He
Who thundered on the Oriental Mount
Girt round with awful light, had set apart
For Jacob's seed -- the land that Moses strained
On Nebo's topmost cone to see, grew black
Beneath the shadow of despotic Sin
That stalked on foot-ways dashed with human blood,
And mocked high Heaven by audacious fires;
And as when Storm, that voice of God, is loud
Within the mountained Syrian wilderness,
There flits a wailing through the wilted pines,
So in the city of the wicked king
A voice, like Abel's crying from the ground,
Made sorrow of the broken evening winds,
And darkness of the fair young morning lights,
And silence in the homes of hunted men.

But in a time when grey-winged Autumn fogs
Shut off the sun from Carmel's seaward side,
And fitful gusts did speak within the trees
Of rain beyond the waters, while the priests
In Hinnom's echoing valley offered up
Unhallowed sacrifices unto gods
Of brass and stone, there came a trumpet's voice
Along the bald, bleak northern flats; and then
A harnessed horseman, riding furiously,
Dashed down the ridge with an exceeding cry
Of "Esarhaddon, Esarhaddon! haste
Away, ye elders, lo, the swarthy foe
Six leagues from hence hath made the land a fire,
And all the dwellers of the hollowed hills
Are flying hitherwards before a flame
Of fifty thousand swords!" At this the men
Of Baal turned about, set face, and fled
Towards the thickets, where the impious king,
Ringed round by grey, gaunt wizards with the brand
Of Belial on their features, cowered low,
And hid himself amongst the tangled thorns
And shivered in a bitter seaborn wind,
And caught the whiteness of a deathly fear.

There where the ash-pale forest-leaves were touched
By Morning's shining fingers, and the inland depths
Sent out rain-plenished voices west and south,
The steel-clad scouts of Esarhaddon came
And searched, and found Manasseh whom they bound
And dragged before the swart Assyrian king;
And Esarhaddon, scourge of Heaven, sent
To strange Evil at its chiefest fanes,
And so fulfil a dread divine decree,
Took Judah's despot, fettered hand and foot,
And cast him bleeding on a dungeon floor
Hard by where swift Euphrates chafes his brink
And gleams from cataract to cataract,
And gives the gale a deep midwinter tone.

So fared Manasseh for the sins which brought
Pale-featured Desolation to the tents
Of alienated Judah; but one night,
When ninety moons of wild unrest had passed,
The humbled son of Hezekiah turned
Himself towards the wall, and prayed and wept;
And in an awful darkness face to face
With God, he said -- "I know, O Lord of Hosts,
That Thou art wise and just and kind, and I
Am shapen in iniquity; but by
The years of black captivity, whose days
And nights have marked my spirit passing through
Fierce furnaces of suffering, and seen
It groping in blind shadows with a hope
To reach Thy Hand -- by these, O Father, these
That brought the swift, sad silver to my head
Which should have come with Age -- which came with Pain,
I pray Thee hear these supplications now,
And stoop and lift me from my low estate,
And lend me this once my dominionship,
So I may strive to live the bad Past down,
And lead henceforth a white and wholesome life,
And be thy contrite servant, Lord, indeed!"

The prayer was not in vain: for while the storm
Sang high above the dim Chaldean domes --
While, in the pines, the spirit of the rain
Sobbed fitfully, Jehovah's angel came
And made a splendour of the dungeon walls,
And smote the bars, and led Manasseh forth
And caught him up, nor set him down again
Until the turrets of Jerusalem
Sprang white before the flying travellers
Against the congregated morning hills.

And he, the broken man made whole again,
Was faithful to his promise. Every day
Thereafter passing, bore upon its wings
Some shining record of his faultless life,
Some brightness of a high resolve fulfilled;
And in good time, when all the land had rest,
He found that he had lived the bad Past down,
And gave God praise, and with his fathers slept.

Thus ends the story of Manasseh. If
This verse should catch the eyes of one whose sin
Lies heavy on his soul; who finds himself
A shame-faced alien when he walks abroad,
A moping shadow when he sits at home;
Who has no human friends; who, day by day,
Is smitten down by icy level looks
From that cold Virtue which is merciless
Because it knoweth not what wrestling with
A fierce temptation means; if such a one
Should read my tale of Hezekiah's son,
Let him take heart, and gather up his strength,
And step above men's scorn, and find his way
By paths of fire, as brave Manasseh did,
Up to the white heights of a blameless life;
And it will come to pass that in the face
Of grey old enmities, whose partial eyes
Are blind to reformation, he will taste
A sweetness in his thoughts, and live his time
Arrayed with the efficient armour of
That noble power which grows of self-respect,
And makes a man a pillar in the world.

Caroline Chisholm

"A perfect woman, nobly planned,
To warn, to comfort, and command."

The Priests and the Levites went forth, to feast at the courts of the Kings;
They were vain of their greatness and worth,
and gladdened with glittering things;
They were fair in the favour of gold, and they walked on, with delicate feet,
Where, famished and faint with the cold, the women fell down in the street.

The Priests and the Levites looked round, all vexed and perplexed at the cries
Of the maiden who crouched to the ground with the madness of want in her eyes;
And they muttered -- "Few praises are earned
when good hath been wrought in the dark;
While the backs of the people are turned, we choose not to loiter nor hark."

Moreover they said -- "It is fair that our deeds in the daylight should shine:
If we feasted you, who would declare that we gave you our honey and wine."
They gathered up garments of gold, and they stepped with their delicate feet,
And the women who famished with cold, were left with the snow in the street.

The winds and the rains were abroad -- the homeless looked vainly for alms;
And they prayed in the dark to the Lord, with agony clenched in their palms,
"There is none of us left that is whole,"
they cried, through their faltering breath,
"We are clothed with a sickness of soul,
and the shape of the shadow of death."

He heard them, and turned to the earth! --
"I am pained," said the Lord, "at the woe
Of my children so smitten with dearth;
but the night of their trouble shall go."
He called on His Chosen to come: she listened, and hastened to rise;
And He charged her to build them a home,
where the tears should be dried from their eyes.

God's servant came forth from the South: she told of a plentiful land;
And wisdom was set in her mouth, and strength in the thews of her hand.
She lifted them out of their fear, and they thought her their Moses and said:
"We shall follow you, sister, from here to the country of sunshine and bread."

She fed them, and led them away, through tempest and tropical heat,
Till they reached the far regions of day, and sweet-scented spaces of wheat.
She hath made them a home with her hand,
and they bloom like the summery vines;
For they eat of the fat of the land, and drink of its glittering wines.

Mount Erebus

(A Fragment)

A mighty theatre of snow and fire,
Girt with perpetual Winter, and sublime
By reason of that lordly solitude
Which dwells for ever at the world's white ends;
And in that weird-faced wilderness of ice,
There is no human foot, nor any paw
Or hoof of beast, but where the shrill winds drive
The famished birds of storm across the tracts
Whose centre is the dim mysterious Pole.
Beyond -- yea far beyond the homes of man,
By water never dark with coming ships,
Near seas that know not feather, scale, or fin,
The grand volcano, like a weird Isaiah,
Set in that utmost region of the Earth,
Doth thunder forth the awful utterance,
Whose syllables are flame; and when the fierce
Antarctic Night doth hold dominionship
Within her fastnessess, then round the cone
Of Erebus a crown of tenfold light
Appears; and shafts of marvellous splendour shoot
Far out to east and west and south and north,
Whereat a gorgeous dome of glory roofs
Wild leagues of mountain and transfigured waves,
And lends all things a beauty terrible.

Far-reaching lands, whereon the hand of Change
Hath never rested since the world began,
Lie here in fearful fellowship with cold
And rain and tempest. Here colossal horns
Of hill start up and take the polar fogs
Shot through with flying stars of fire; and here,
Above the dead-grey crescents topped with spires
Of thunder-smoke, one half the heaven flames
With that supremest light whose glittering life
Is yet a marvel unto all but One --
The Entity Almighty, whom we feel
Is nearest us when we are face to face
With Nature's features aboriginal,
And in the hearing of her primal speech
And in the thraldom of her primal power.

While like the old Chaldean king who waxed
Insane with pride, we human beings grow
To think we are the mightiest of the world,
And lords of all terrestrial things, behold
The sea rolls in with a superb disdain
Upon our peopled shores, omnipotent;
And while we set up things of clay and call
Our idols gods; and while we boast or fume
About the petty honours, or the poor,
Pale disappointments of our meagre lives,
Lo, changeless as Eternity itself,
The grand Antarctic mountain looms outside
All breathing life; and, with its awful speech,
Is as an emblem of the Power Supreme,
Whose thunders shake the boundless Universe,
Whose lightnings make a terror of all Space.

Our Jack

Twelve years ago our Jack was lost. All night,
Twelve years ago, the Spirit of the Storm
Sobbed round our camp. A wind of northern hills
That hold a cold companionship with clouds
Came down, and wrestled like a giant with
The iron-featured woods; and fall and ford,
The night our Jack was lost, sent forth a cry
Of baffled waters, where the Murray sucked
The rain-replenished torrents at his source,
And gathered strength, and started for the sea.

We took our Jack from Melbourne just two weeks
Before this day twelve years ago. He left
A home where Love upon the threshold paused,
And wept across the shoulder of the lad,
And blest us when we said we'd take good care
To keep the idol of the house from harm.
We were a band of three. We started thence
To look for watered lands and pastures new,
With faces set towards the down beyond
Where cool Monaro's topmost mountain breaks
The wings of many a seaward-going storm,
And shapes them into wreaths of subtle fire.
We were, I say, a band of three in all,
With brother Tom for leader. Bright-eyed Jack,
Who thought himself as big a man as Tom,
Was self-elected second in command,
And I was cook and groom. A week slipt by,
Brimful of life -- of health, and happiness;
For though our progress northward had been slow,
Because the country on the track was rough,
No one amongst us let his spirits flag;
Moreover, being young, and at the stage
When all things novel wear a fine romance,
We found in ridge and glen, and wood and rock
And waterfall, and everything that dwells
Outside with nature, pleasure of that kind
Which only lives for those whose hearts are tired
Of noisy cities, and are fain to feel
The peace and power of the mighty hills.

The second week we crossed the upper fork
Where Murray meets a river from the east;
And there one evening dark with coming storm,
We camped a furlong from the bank. Our Jack,
The little man that used to sing and shout
And start the merry echoes of the cliffs,
And gravely help me to put up the tent,
And try a thousand tricks and offices,
That made me scold and laugh by turns -- the pet
Of sisters, and the youngest hope of one
Who grew years older in a single night --
Our Jack, I say, strayed off into the dusk,
Lured by the noises of a waterfall;
And though we hunted, shouting right and left,
The whole night long, through wind and rain, and searched
For five days afterwards, we never saw
The lad again.

I turned to Tom and said,
That wild fifth evening, "Which of us has heart
Enough to put the saddle on our swiftest horse,
And post away to Melbourne, there to meet
And tell his mother we have lost her son?
Or which of us can bear to stand and see
The white affliction of a faded face,
Made old by you and me? O, Tom, my boy,
Her heart will break!" Tom moaned, but did not speak
A word. He saddled horse, and galloped off.
O, Jack! Jack! Jack! When bright-haired Benjamin
Was sent to Egypt with his father's sons,
Those rough half-brothers took more care of him
Than we of you! But shall we never see
Your happy face, my brave lad, any more?
Nor hear you whistling in the fields at eve?
Nor catch you up to mischief with your knife
Amongst the apple trees? Nor find you out
A truant playing on the road to school?
Nor meet you, boy, in any other guise
You used to take? Is this worn cap I hold
The only thing you've left us of yourself?
Are we to sit from night to night deceived
Through rainy seasons by presentiments
That make us start at shadows on the pane,
And fancy that we hear you in the dark,
And wonder that your step has grown so slow,
And listen for your hand upon the door?

Camped by the Creek

"All day a strong sun has been drinking
The ponds in the Wattletree Glen;
And now as they're puddles, I'm thinking
We were wise to head hitherwards, men!
The country is heavy to nor'ard,
But Lord, how you rattled along!
Jack's chestnut's best leg was put for'ard,
And the bay from the start galloped strong;
But for bottom, I'd stake my existence,
There's none of the lot like the mare;
For look! she has come the whole distance
With never the `turn of a hair'.

"But now let us stop, for the `super'
Will want us to-morrow by noon;
And as he can swear like a trooper,
We can't be a minute too soon.
Here, Dick, you can hobble the filly
And chestnut, but don't take a week;
And, Jack, hurry off with the billy
And fill it. We'll camp by the creek."

So spoke the old stockman, and quickly
We made ourselves snug for the night;
The smoke-wreaths above us curled thickly,
For our pipes were the first thing a-light!
As we sat round a fire that only
A well-seasoned bushman can make,
Far forests grew silent and lonely,
Though the paw was astir in the brake,
But not till our supper was ended,
And not till old Bill was asleep,
Did wild things by wonder attended
In shot of our camping-ground creep.
Scared eyes from thick tuft and tree-hollow
Gleamed out thro' the forest-boles stark;
And ever a hurry would follow
Of fugitive feet in the dark.

While Dick and I yarned and talked over
Old times that had gone like the sun,
The wail of the desolate plover
Came up from the swamps in the run.
And sniffing our supper, elated,
From his den the red dingo crawled out;
But skulked in the darkness, and waited,
Like a cunning but cowardly scout.
Thereafter came sleep that soon falls on
A man who has ridden all day;
And when midnight had deepened the palls on
The hills, we were snoring away.
But ere we dozed off, the wild noises
Of forest, of fen, and of stream,
Grew strange, and were one with the voices
That died with a sweet semi-dream.
And the tones of the waterfall, blended
With the song of the wind on the shore,
Became a soft psalm that ascended,
Grew far, and we heard it no more.


* A cantata, set to music by C. E. Horsley, and sung at the opening
of the Melbourne Town Hall, 1870.


Hail to thee, Sound! -- The power of Euterpe in all the scenes of life --
in religion; in works of charity; in soothing troubles by means of music;
in all humane and high purposes; in war; in grief; in the social circle;
the children's lullaby; the dance; the ballad; in conviviality;
when far from home; at evening -- the whole ending with an allegorical chorus,
rejoicing at the building of a mighty hall erected for the recreation
of a nation destined to take no inconsiderable part in the future history
of the world.


~No. 1 Chorus~

All hail to thee, Sound! Since the time
Calliope's son took the lyre,
And lulled in the heart of their clime
The demons of darkness and fire;
Since Eurydice's lover brought tears
To the eyes of the Princes of Night,
Thou hast been, through the world's weary years,
A marvellous source of delight --
Yea, a marvellous source of delight!

In the wind, in the wave, in the fall
Of the water, each note of thine dwells;
But Euterpe hath gathered from all
The sweetest to weave into spells.
She makes a miraculous power
Of thee with her magical skill;
And gives us, for bounty or dower,
The accents that soothe us or thrill!
Yea, the accents that soothe us or thrill!

All hail to thee, Sound! Let us thank
The great Giver of light and of life
For the music divine that we've drank,
In seasons of peace and of strife,
Let us gratefully think of the balm
That falls on humanity tired,
At the tones of the song or the psalm
From lips and from fingers inspired --
Yea, from lips and from fingers inspired.

~No. 2 Quartette and Chorus~

When, in her sacred fanes
God's daughter, sweet Religion, prays,
Euterpe's holier strains
Her thoughts from earth to heaven raise.
The organ notes sublime
Put every worldly dream to flight;
They sanctify the time,
And fill the place with hallowed light.

~No. 3 Soprano Solo~

Yea, and when that meek-eyed maiden
Men call Charity, comes fain
To raise up spirits, laden
With bleak poverty and pain:
Often, in her cause enlisted,
Music softens hearts like stones;
And the fallen are assisted
Through Euterpe's wondrous tones.

~No. 4 Orchestral Intermezzo~

~No. 5 Chorus~

Beautiful is Sound devoted
To all ends humane and high;
And its sweetness never floated
Like a thing unheeded by.
Power it has on souls encrusted
With the selfishness of years;
Yea, and thousands Mammon-rusted,
Hear it, feel it, leave in tears.

~No. 6 Choral Recitative
(Men's voices only)~

When on the battlefield, and in the sight
Of tens of thousands bent to smite and slay
Their human brothers, how the soldier's heart
Must leap at sounds of martial music, fired
With all that spirit that the patriot loves
Who seeks to win, or nobly fall, for home!

~No. 7 Triumphal March~

~No. 8 Funeral Chorus~

Slowly and mournfully moves a procession,
Wearing the signs
Of sorrow, through loss, and it halts like a shadow
Of death in the pines.
Come from the fane that is filled with God's presence,
Sad sounds and deep;
Holy Euterpe, she sings of our brother,
We listen and weep.
Death, like the Angel that passed over Egypt,
Struck at us sore;
Never again shall we turn at our loved one's
Step at the door.

~No. 9 Chorus
(Soprano voices only)~

But, passing from sorrow, the spirit
Of Music, a glory, doth rove
Where it lightens the features of beauty,
And burns through the accents of love --
The passionate accents of love.

~No. 10 Lullaby Song -- Contralto~

The night-shades gather, and the sea
Sends up a sound, sonorous, deep;
The plover's wail comes down the lea;
By slope and vale the vapours weep,
And dew is on the tree;
And now where homesteads be,
The children fall asleep,

A low-voiced wind amongst the leaves,
The sighing leaves that mourn the Spring,
Like some lone spirit, flits and grieves,
And grieves and flits on fitful wing.
But where Song is a guest,
A lulling dreamy thing,
The children fall to rest,
To rest.

~No. 11 Waltz Chorus~

When the summer moon is beaming
On the stirless waters dreaming,
And the keen grey summits gleaming,
Through a silver starry haze;
In our homes to strains entrancing
To the steps, the quickly glancing
Steps of youths and maidens dancing,
Maidens light of foot as fays.

Then the waltz, whose rhythmic paces
Make melodious happy places,
Brings a brightness to young faces,
Brings a sweetness to the eyes.
Sounds that move us like enthralling
Accents, where the runnel falling,
Sends out flute-like voices calling,
Where the sweet wild moss-bed lies.

~No. 12 Ballad -- Tenor~

When twilight glides with ghostly tread
Across the western heights,
And in the east the hills are red
With sunset's fading lights;
Then music floats from cot and hall
Where social circles met,
By sweet Euterpe held in thrall --
Their daily cares forget.

What joy it is to watch the shine
That hallows beauty's face
When woman sings the strains divine,
Whose passion floods the place!
Then how the thoughts and feelings rove
At song's inspiring breath,
In homes made beautiful by love,
Or sanctified by death.

What visions come, what dreams arise,
What Edens youth will limn,
When leaning over her whose eyes
Have sweetened life for him!
For while she sings and while she plays,
And while her voice is low,
His fancy paints diviner days
Than any we can know.

~No. 13 Drinking Song
(Men's voices only)~

But, hurrah! for the table that heavily groans
With the good things that keep in the life:
When we sing and we dance, and we drink to the tones
That are masculine, thorough and blithe.

Good luck to us all! Over walnuts and wine
We hear the rare songs that we know
Are as brimful of mirth as the spring is of shine,
And as healthy and hearty, we trow.

Then our glasses we charge to the ring of the stave
That the flush to our faces doth send;
For though life is a thing that winds up with the grave,
We'll be jolly, my boys, to the end.
Hurrah! Hurrah!
Yes, jolly, my boys, to the end!

~No. 14 Recitative -- Bass~

When far from friends, and home, and all the things
That bind a man to life, how dear to him
Is any old familiar sound that takes
Him back to spots where Love and Hope
In past days used to wander hand in hand
Across high-flowered meadows, and the paths
Whose borders shared the beauty of the spring,
And borrowed splendour from autumnal suns.

~No. 15 Chorus
(The voices accompanied only by the violins playing~ "Home, Sweet Home".)

Then at sea, or in wild wood,
Then ashore or afloat,
All the scenes of his childhood
Come back at a note;
At the turn of a ballad,
At the tones of a song,
Cometh Memory, pallid
And speechless so long;
And she points with her finger
To phantom-like years,
And loveth to linger
In silence, in tears.

~No. 16 Solo -- Bass~

In the yellow flame of evening sounds of music come and go,
Through the noises of the river, and the drifting of the snow;
In the yellow flame of evening, at the setting of the day,
Sounds that lighten, fall, and lighten, flicker, faint, and fade away;
What they are, behold, we know not, but their honey slakes and slays
Half the want which whitens manhood in the stress of alien days.
Even as a wondrous woman, struck with love and great desire,
Hast thou been to us, EUTERPE, half of tears and half of fire;
But thy joy is swift and fitful, and a subtle sense of pain
Sighs through thy melodious breathings, takes the rapture from thy strain.
In the yellow flame of evening sounds of music come and go.
Through the noises of the river, and the drifting of the snow.

~No. 17 Recitative -- Soprano~

And thus it is that Music manifold,
In fanes, in Passion's sanctuaries, or where
The social feast is held, is still the power
That bindeth heart to heart; and whether Grief,
Or Love, or Pleasure form the link, we know
'Tis still a bond that makes Humanity,
That wearied entity, a single whole,
And soothes the trouble of the heart bereaved,
And lulls the beatings in the breast that yearns,
And gives more gladness to the gladdest things.

~No. 18 Finale -- Chorus~

Now a vision comes, O brothers, blended
With supremest sounds of harmony --
Comes, and shows a temple, stately, splendid,
In a radiant city by the sea.
Founders, fathers of a mighty nation,
Raised the walls, and built the royal dome,
Gleaming now from lofty, lordly station,
Like a dream of Athens, or of Rome!
And a splendour of sound,
A thunder of song,
Rolls sea-like around,
Comes sea-like along.

The ringing, and ringing, and ringing,
Of voices of choristers singing,
Inspired by a national joy,
Strike through the marvellous hall,
Fly by the aisle and the wall,
While the organ notes roam
From basement to dome --
Now low as a wail,
Now loud as a gale,
And as grand as the music that builded old Troy.


Another battle! and the sounds have rolled
By many a gloomy gorge and wasted plain
O'er huddled hills and mountains manifold,
Like winds that run before a heavy rain
When Autumn lops the leaves and drooping grain,
And earth lies deep in brown and cloudy gold.
My brothers, lo! our grand old England stands,
With weapons gleaming in her ready hands,
Outside the tumult! Let us watch and trust
That she will never darken in the dust
And drift of wild contention, but remain
The hope and stay of many troubled lands,
Where so she waits the issue of the fight,
Aloof; but praying "God defend the Right!"

[End of Early Poems, 1859-70.]

Other Poems, 1871-82

Adam Lindsay Gordon

At rest! Hard by the margin of that sea
Whose sounds are mingled with his noble verse
Now lies the shell that never more will house
The fine strong spirit of my gifted friend.
Yea, he who flashed upon us suddenly,
A shining soul with syllables of fire,
Who sang the first great songs these lands can claim
To be their own; the one who did not seem
To know what royal place awaited him
Within the Temple of the Beautiful,
Has passed away; and we who knew him sit
Aghast in darkness, dumb with that great grief
Whose stature yet we cannot comprehend;
While over yonder churchyard, hearsed with pines,
The night wind sings its immemorial hymn,
And sobs above a newly-covered grave.
The bard, the scholar, and the man who lived
That frank, that open-hearted life which keeps
The splendid fire of English chivalry
From dying out; the one who never wronged
A fellow man; the faithful friend who judged
The many, anxious to be loved of him
By what he saw, and not by what he heard,
As lesser spirits do; the brave, great soul
That never told a lie, or turned aside
To fly from danger -- he, as I say, was one
Of that bright company this sin-stained world
Can ill afford to lose.

They did not know,
The hundreds who had read his sturdy verse
And revelled over ringing major notes,
The mournful meaning of the undersong
Which runs through all he wrote, and often takes
The deep autumnal, half-prophetic tone
Of forest winds in March; nor did they think
That on that healthy-hearted man there lay
The wild specific curse which seems to cling
Forever to the Poet's twofold life!

To Adam Lindsay Gordon, I who laid
Two years ago on Lionel Michael's grave
A tender leaf of my regard; yea, I
Who culled a garland from the flowers of song
To place where Harpur sleeps; I, left alone,
The sad disciple of a shining band
Now gone -- to Adam Lindsay Gordon's name
I dedicate these lines; and if 'tis true
That, past the darkness of the grave, the soul
Becomes omniscient, then the bard may stoop
From his high seat to take the offering,
And read it with a sigh for human friends,
In human bonds, and grey with human griefs.

And having wove and proffered this poor wreath,
I stand to-day as lone as he who saw
At nightfall, through the glimmering moony mist,
The last of Arthur on the wailing mere,
And strained in vain to hear the going voice.

In Memory of Edward Butler

A voice of grave, deep emphasis
Is in the woods to-night;
No sound of radiant day is this,
No cadence of the light.
Here in the fall and flights of leaves
Against grey widths of sea,
The spirit of the forests grieves
For lost Persephone.

The fair divinity that roves
Where many waters sing
Doth miss her daughter of the groves --
The golden-headed Spring.
She cannot find the shining hand
That once the rose caressed;
There is no blossom on the land,
No bird in last year's nest.

Here, where this strange Demeter weeps --
This large, sad life unseen --
Where July's strong, wild torrent leaps
The wet hill-heads between,
I sit and listen to the grief,
The high, supreme distress,
Which sobs above the fallen leaf
Like human tenderness!

Where sighs the sedge and moans the marsh,
The hermit plover calls;
The voice of straitened streams is harsh
By windy mountain walls;
There is no gleam upon the hills
Of last October's wings;
The shining lady of the rills
Is with forgotten things.

Now where the land's worn face is grey
And storm is on the wave,
What flower is left to bear away
To Edward Butler's grave?
What tender rose of song is here
That I may pluck and send
Across the hills and seas austere
To my lamented friend?

There is no blossom left at all;
But this white winter leaf,
Whose glad green life is past recall,
Is token of my grief.
Where love is tending growths of grace,
The first-born of the Spring,
Perhaps there may be found a place
For my pale offering.

For this heroic Irish heart
We miss so much to-day,
Whose life was of our lives a part,
What words have I to say?
Because I know the noble woe
That shrinks beneath the touch --
The pain of brothers stricken low --
I will not say too much.

But often in the lonely space
When night is on the land,
I dream of a departed face --
A gracious, vanished hand.
And when the solemn waters roll
Against the outer steep,
I see a great, benignant soul
Beside me in my sleep.

Yea, while the frost is on the ways
With barren banks austere,
The friend I knew in other days
Is often very near.
I do not hear a single tone;
But where this brother gleams,
The elders of the seasons flown
Are with me in my dreams.

The saintly face of Stenhouse turns --
His kind old eyes I see;
And Pell and Ridley from their urns
Arise and look at me.
By Butler's side the lights reveal
The father of his fold,
I start from sleep in tears, and feel
That I am growing old.

Where Edward Butler sleeps, the wave
Is hardly ever heard;
But now the leaves above his grave
By August's songs are stirred.
The slope beyond is green and still,
And in my dreams I dream
The hill is like an Irish hill
Beside an Irish stream.

How the Melbourne Cup was Won

In the beams of a beautiful day,

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