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The Poems Of Henry Kendall Part 15

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Evermore of you I think, When the leaves begin to fall, Where our river breaks its brink, And a rest is over all.

Evermore in quiet lands, Friend of mine beyond the sea, Memory comes with cunning hands, Stays, and paints your face for me.

At Euroma

-- * Charles Harpur was buried at Euroma, N.S.W., but this poem refers to the grave of a stranger whose name is unknown.

They built his mound of the rough, red ground, By the dip of a desert dell, Where all things sweet are killed by the heat, And scattered o'er flat and fell; In a burning zone they left him alone, Past the uttermost western plain, And the nightfall dim heard his funeral hymn In the voices of wind and rain.



The songs austere of the forests drear, And the echoes of clift and cave, When the dark is keen where the storm hath been, Fleet over the far-away grave.

And through the days when the torrid rays Strike down on a coppery gloom, Some spirit grieves in the perished leaves, Whose theme is that desolate tomb.

No human foot or paw of brute Halts now where the stranger sleeps; But cloud and star his fellows are, And the rain that sobs and weeps.

The dingo yells by the far iron fells, The plover is loud in the range, But they never come near to the slumberer here, Whose rest is a rest without change.

Ah! in his life, had he mother or wife, To wait for his step on the floor?

Did beauty wax dim while watching for him Who passed through the threshold no more?

Doth it trouble his head? He is one with the dead; He lies by the alien streams; And sweeter than sleep is death that is deep And unvexed by the lordship of dreams.

Illa Creek

A strong sea-wind flies up and sings Across the blown-wet border, Whose stormy echo runs and rings Like bells in wild disorder.

Fierce breath hath vexed the foreland's face, It glistens, glooms, and glistens; But deep within this quiet place Sweet Illa lies and listens.

Sweet Illa of the shining sands, She sleeps in shady hollows, Where August flits with flowerful hands, And silver Summer follows.

Far up the naked hills is heard A noise of many waters, But green-haired Illa lies unstirred Amongst her star-like daughters.

The tempest, pent in moaning ways, Awakes the shepherd yonder, But Illa dreams unknown to days Whose wings are wind and thunder.

Here fairy hands and floral feet Are brought by bright October; Here, stained with grapes and smit with heat, Comes Autumn, sweet and sober.

Here lovers rest, what time the red And yellow colours mingle, And daylight droops with dying head Beyond the western dingle.

And here, from month to month, the time Is kissed by peace and pleasure, While Nature sings her woodland rhyme And hoards her woodland treasure.

Ah, Illa Creek! ere evening spreads Her wings o'er towns unshaded, How oft we seek thy mossy beds To lave our foreheads faded!

For, let me whisper, then we find The strength that lives, nor falters, In wood and water, waste and wind, And hidden mountain altars.

Moss on a Wall

Dim dreams it hath of singing ways, Of far-off woodland water-heads, And shining ends of April days Amongst the yellow runnel-beds.

Stoop closer to the ruined wall, Whereon the wilful wilding sleeps, As if its home were waterfall By dripping clefts and shadowy steeps.

A little waif, whose beauty takes A touching tone because it dwells So far away from mountain lakes, And lily leaves, and lightening fells.

Deep hidden in delicious floss It nestles, sister, from the heat-- A gracious growth of tender moss Whose nights are soft, whose days are sweet.

Swift gleams across its petals run With winds that hum a pleasant tune, Serene surprises of the sun, And whispers from the lips of noon.

The evening-coloured apple-trees Are faint with July's frosty breath.

But lo! this stranger getteth ease, And shines amidst the strays of Death.

And at the turning of the year, When August wanders in the cold, The raiment of the nursling here Is rich with green and glad with gold.

Oh, friend of mine, to one whose eyes Are vexed because of alien things, For ever in the wall moss lies The peace of hills and hidden springs.

From faithless lips and fickle lights The tired pilgrim sets his face, And thinketh here of sounds and sights In many a lovely forest-place.

And when by sudden fits and starts The sunset on the moss doth burn, He often dreams, and, lo! the marts And streets are changed to dells of fern.

For, let me say, the wilding placed By hands unseen amongst these stones, Restores a Past by Time effaced, Lost loves and long-forgotten tones!

As sometimes songs and scenes of old Come faintly unto you and me, When winds are wailing in the cold, And rains are sobbing on the sea.

Campaspe

Turn from the ways of this Woman! Campaspe we call her by name-- She is fairer than flowers of the fire-- she is brighter than brightness of flame.

As a song that strikes swift to the heart with the beat of the blood of the South, And a light and a leap and a smart, is the play of her perilous mouth.

Her eyes are as splendours that break in the rain at the set of the sun, But turn from the steps of Campaspe--a Woman to look at and shun!

Dost thou know of the cunning of Beauty? Take heed to thyself and beware Of the trap in the droop in the raiment--the snare in the folds of the hair!

She is fulgent in flashes of pearl, the breeze with her breathing is sweet, But fly from the face of the girl--there is death in the fall of her feet!

Is she maiden or marvel of marble? Oh, rather a tigress at wait To pounce on thy soul for her pastime--a leopard for love or for hate.

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