The Poems of Henry Kendall

From the Forests

Introductory verses for “The Sydney University Review”, 1881.

Henry Kendall

WHERE in a green, moist, myrtle dell
    The torrent voice rings strong
And clear, above a star-bright well,
    I write this woodland song.

The melodies of many leaves
    Float in a fragrant zone;
And here are flowers by deep-mossed eaves
    That day has never known.

I’ll weave a garland out of these,
    The darlings of the birds,
And send it over singing seas
    With certain sunny words—

With certain words alive with light
    Of welcome for a thing
Of promise, born beneath the white,
    Soft afternoon of Spring.

The faithful few have waited long
    A life like this to see;
And they will understand the song
    That flows to-day from me.

May every page within this book
    Be as a radiant hour;
Or like a bank of mountain brook,
    All flower and leaf and flower.

May all the strength and all the grace
    Of Letters make it beam
As beams a lawn whose lovely face
    Is as a glorious dream.

And may that strange divinity
    That men call Genius write
Some deathless thing in days to be,
    To fill those days with light.

Here where the free, frank waters run,
    I pray this book may grow
A sacred candour like the sun
    Above the morning snow.

May noble thoughts in faultless words—
    In clean white diction—make
It shine as shines the home of birds
    And moss and leaf and lake.

This fair fresh life with joy I hail,
    And this belief express,
Its days will be a brilliant tale
    Of effort and success.

Here ends my song; I have a dream
    Of beauty like the grace
Which lies upon the land of stream
    In yonder mountain place.

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