Leaves from Australian Forests


Henry Kendall

SING her a song of the sun:
    Fill it with tones of the stream,—
Echoes of waters that run
    Glad with the gladdening gleam.
Let it be sweeter than rain,
    Lit by a tropical moon:
Light in the words of the strain,
    Love in the ways of the tune.

Softer than seasons of sleep:
    Dearer than life at its best!
Give her a ballad to keep,
    Wove of the passionate West:
Give it and say of the hours—
    “Haunted and hallowed of thee,
Flower-like woman of flowers,
    What shall the end of them be?”

You that have loved her so much,
    Loved her asleep and awake,
Trembled because of her touch,
    What have you said for her sake?
Far in the falls of the day,
    Down in the meadows of myrrh,
What has she left you to say
    Filled with the beauty of her?

Take her the best of your thoughts,
    Let them be gentle and grave,
Say, “I have come to thy courts,
    Maiden, with all that I have.”
So she may turn with her sweet
    Face to your love and to you,
Learning the way to repeat
    Words that are brighter than dew.

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