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The Poems Of Henry Kendall Part 11

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With sweet Regret--(the dearest thing that Yesterday has left us)-- We often turn our homeless eyes to scenes whence Fate has reft us.

Here sitting by a fading flame, wild waifs of song remind me Of Annie with her gentle ways, the Girl I left behind me.

I stood beside the surging sea, with lips of silent passion-- I faced you by the surging sea, O brows of mild repression!

I never said--"my darling, stay!"--the moments seemed to bind me To something stifling all my words for the Girl I left behind me.

The pathos worn by common things--by every wayside flower, Or Autumn leaf on lonely winds, revives the parting hour.



Ye swooning thoughts without a voice--ye tears which rose to blind me, Why did she fade into the Dark, the Girl I left behind me.

At night they always come to me, the tender and true-hearted; And in my dreams we join again the hands which now are parted; And, looking through the gates of Sleep, the pleasant Moon doth find me For ever wandering with my Love, the Girl I left behind me.

You know my life is incomplete, O far-off faint Ideal!

When shall I reach you from a depth of darkness which is real?

So I may mingle, soul in soul, with her that Heaven assigned me; So she may lean upon my love, the Girl I left behind me.

Amongst the Roses

I walked through a Forest, beneath the hot noon, On Etheline calling and calling!

One said: "She will hear you and come to you soon, When the coolness, my brother, is falling."

But I whispered: "O Darling, I falter with pain!"

And the thirsty leaves rustled, and hissed for the rain, Where a wayfarer halted and slept on the plain; And dreamt of a garden of Roses!

Of a cool sweet place, And a nestling face In a dance and a dazzle of Roses.

In the drouth of a Desert, outwearied, I wept, O Etheline, darkened with dolours!

But, folded in sunset, how long have you slept By the Roses all reeling with colours?

A tree from its tresses a blossom did shake, It fell on her face, and I feared she would wake, So I brushed it away for _her_ sweet sake; In that garden of beautiful Roses!

In the dreamy perfumes From ripe-red blooms In a dance and a dazzle of Roses.

Sunset

It is better, O day, that you go to your rest, For you go like a guest who was loth to remain!

Swing open, ye gates of the east and the west, And let out the wild shadows--the night and the rain.

Ye winds, ye are dead, with your voices attuned, That thrilled the green life in the sweet-scented sheaves, When I touched a warm hand which has faded, and swooned To a trance of the darkness, and blight on the leaves.

I had studied the lore in her maiden-like ways, And the large-hearted love of my Annie was won, 'Ere Summer had passed into passionate days, Or Autumn made ready her fruits for the Sun.

So my life was complete, and the hours that went by, And the moon and the willow-wooed waters around, Might have known that we rested, my Annie and I, In happiness calm as the slumber of sound.

On Sundays we wandered, as glad as a breeze, By the rocks and the waves on a glittering beach; Or we loitered in gardens melodious with bees, And sucked the sweet pulp of the plum and the peach.

"The Forest will show me the secrets of Fame,"

I said to myself in the gum-shadowed glen, "I will call every blossom and tree by its name, And the people shall deem me a man of the men.

"I will gather Roses of Sharon, my Soul,-- The Roses of Sharon so cool and so sweet; And our brothers shall see me entwining the whole For a garland to drop at my dear Annie's feet."

It is better, O day, that you go to your rest, For you go like a guest who was loth to remain!

Swing open, ye gates of the east and the west, And let out the wild shadows--the night and the rain.

Doubting

A Brother wandered forth with me, Beside a barren beach: He harped on things beyond the sea, And out of reach.

He hinted once of unknown skies, And then I would not hark, But turned away from steadfast eyes, Into the dark.

And said--"an ancient faith is dead And wonder fills my mind: I marvel how the blind have led So long the blind.

"Behold this truth we only know That night is on the land!

And we a weary way must go To find God's hand."

I wept--"Our fathers told us, Lord, That Thou wert kind and just, But lo! our wailings fly abroad For broken trust.

"How many evil ones are here Who mocking go about, Because we are too faint with fear To wrestle Doubt!

"Thy riddles are beyond the ken Of creatures of the sod: Remember that we are but men, And Thou art God!

"O, doting world, methinks your stay Is weaker than a reed!

Our Father turns His face away; 'Tis dark indeed."

The evening woods lay huddled there, All wrapped in silence strange: A sudden wind--and lo! the air Was filled with change.

"Your words are wild," my brother said, "For God's voice fills the breeze; Go--hide yourself, as Adam did, Amongst the trees.

"I pluck the shoes from off my feet, But dare to look around; Behold," he said, "my Lord I greet, On holy ground!"

And God spake through the wind to me-- "Shake off that gloom of Fear, You fainting soul who could not see That I was near.

"Why vex me crying day and night?-- You call on me to hark!

But when I bless your world with light, Who makes it dark?

"Is there a ravelled riddle left That you would have undone?

What other doubts are there to sift?"

I answered--"None."

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