Poems and Songs


Henry Kendall

TOWARDS the hills of Jamberoo
    Some few fantastic shadows haste,
        Uplit with fires
        Like castle spires
    Outshining through a mirage waste.
Behold, a mournful glory sits
    On feathered ferns and woven brakes,
Where sobbing wild like restless child
    The gusty breeze of evening wakes!
Methinks I hear on every breath
    A lofty tone go passing by,
        That whispers—“Weave,
        Though wood winds grieve,
    The fadeless blooms of Poesy!”

A spirit hand has been abroad—
    An evil hand to pluck the flowers—
        A world of wealth,
        And blooming health
    Has gone from fragrant seaside bowers.
The twilight waxeth dim and dark,
    The sad waves mutter sounds of woe,
But the evergreen retains its sheen,
    And happy hearts exist below;
But pleasure sparkles on the sward,
    And voices utter words of bliss,
        And while my bride
        Sits by my side,
    Oh, where’s the scene surpassing this?

Kiama slumbers, robed with mist,
    All glittering in the dewy light
        That, brooding o’er
        The shingly shore,
    Lies resting in the arms of Night;
And foam-flecked crags with surges chill,
    And rocks embraced of cold-lipped spray,
Are moaning loud where billows crowd
    In angry numbers up the bay.
The holy stars come looking down
    On windy heights and swarthy strand,
        And Life and Love—
        The cliffs above—
    Are sitting fondly hand in hand.

I hear a music inwardly,
    That floods my soul with thoughts of joy;
        Within my heart
        Emotions start
    That Time may still but ne’er destroy.
An ancient Spring revives itself,
    And days which made the past divine;
And rich warm gleams from golden dreams,
    All glorious in their summer shine;
And songs of half forgotten hours,
    And many a sweet melodious strain,
        Which still shall rise
        Beneath the skies
    When all things else have died again.

A white sail glimmers out at sea—
    A vessel walking in her sleep;
        Some Power goes past
        That bends the mast,
    While frighted waves to leeward leap.
The moonshine veils the naked sand
    And ripples upward with the tide,
As underground there rolls a sound
    From where the caverned waters glide.
A face that bears affection’s glow,
    The soul that speaks from gentle eyes,
        And joy which slips
        From loving lips
    Have made this spot my Paradise!

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