LEAVES FROM AUSTRALIAN FORESTS book cover   Leaves from Australian Forests
Poetical Works of Henry Kendall
Henry Kendall

The cover is taken from the painting "Bush Burial" by Frederick McCubbin.

Dustjacket synopsis:
"Henry Kendall was born in 1839, an Australian, brought up among the mountains and forests of the south coast of New South Wales. From the start, his life was rarely happy, and as a young man he was a disturbing mixture of shyness, melancholy and intense ambition.

"His poetry is perhaps the most lyrical of any of the Australian poets - 'singing pictures', A.G. Stephens called his wonderfully evocative tributes to the Australian bush. Poems such as his well-known 'Orara', 'Mooni' and 'To a Mountain', are filled with the sights and sounds and light of the bush he loved.

"Unfortunate as he was in life, Henry Kendall was more fortunate with his friends - the poet Charles Harpur, whom he greatly admired; Sir Henry Parkes, who gave him constant encouragement, as did the hapless Adam Lindsay Gordon, G.G. McCrae, A.L. Michael, and many others. Kendall died in Sydney in 1882, leaving behind him three published books: Poems and Songs (1866); Leaves from Australian Forests (1869); and Songs from the Mountains (1880)."

First Paragraph from the Memoir:

Among the first white residents of New Zealand early in the last century, were four courageous English missionaries, who settled at the Bay of Islands. The leader of these pioneers was a clergy-man named Thomas Kendall who, after a long period of labour in Maoriland, and a subsequent sojourn in South America, retired in 1827 to New South Wales, where he received from the Government, in recognition of his services, a grant of land near Ulladulla, on the south coast. There he engaged in the timber trade, and lost his life by shipwreck on a voyage to Sydney. He left several sons, one of whom, Basil, the poet's father, had led an adventurous seafaring life, serving at one time under that noted rover Lord Dundonald. Basil married in Sydney a Miss McNally, the grand-daughter of an Irish lawyer and playwright named Leonard McNally, who flourished in the days of Burke and Grattan. On a lonely farm near Ulladulla, where Basil and his wife had settled, twin sons were born to them on April 18, 1841, one of these being Henry Kendall, the future poet. The family afterwards removed to the Clarence River. In Basil Kendall a cultured mind and fme character were united with a delicate constitution, and after some years of misfortune and sickness, brightened for him only by the careful tuition of his children, he died in 1851, when Henry Kendall (my father) was ten years old. The children were cared for and schooled by relatives in Illawarra, where my father passed three impressionable years, in a district of surpassing beauty, entering into that communion with Nature which was to be the inspiration and essence of his song. When fourteen years old he was taken on a whaling voyage by one of his uncles for two years, an experience to be recalled only by two poems, "The Ballad of Tanna," and "Beyond Kerguelen." In 1857 my father, then a nervous, delicate lad of sixteen, struck out for himself in Sydney, finding work here and there. He next became clerk to a Grafton solicitor, James Lionel Michael. Himself a cultured book-lover and a versifier of no mean order, Michael encouraged the literary bent of the lad, who soon became more a friend than an employee. There was a well-selected library in the house, of the treasures in which my father freely availed himself. Early in the sixties his first poetical work began to appear in the columns of the Sydney press. The promise even then patent in his verse attracted the friendship of men like Henry Parkes, then Editor of the Empire, Charles Harpur the poet, Daniel Henry Deniehy, orator and critic, and Dr. Woolley of the Sydney University. A very favourable notice by The Athenaeum of some manuscripts which my father had submitted to that great arbiter of English letters emboldened him to compile a small volume, Poems and Songs, which was issues in 1862 by Mr. Clarke, a Sydney publihser. The most enduring work in this early volume is reprinted at the end of this present edition.


A Memoir of Henry Kendall by Frederick C. Kendall


Prefatory Sonnets
A Death in the Bush
The Hut by the Black Swamp
Illa Creek
Ghost Glen
Moss on a Wall
At Euroma
Charles Harpur
Mountain Moss
The Glen of Arrawatta
Rose Lorraine
King Saul at Gilboa
Faith in God
Twelve Sonnets
At Dusk
September in Australia
On a Cattle Track
To Damascus
The Last of His Tribe
The Voyage of Telegonus
God Help our Men at Sea
Song of the Cattle-Hunters
Sutherland's Grave
On the Paroo
Safi In Memoriam - D.H. Deniehy
After the Hunt
The Warrigal
A Spanish Love Song


To a Mountain
Mary Rivers
Beyond Kerguelen
The Voice in the Wild Oak
Araluen (The Poet's Daughter)
Names Upon a Stone
Narrara Creek
Christmas Creek
Jim the Splitter
Bill the Bullock-Driver
Billy Vickers
In Memory of John Fairfax
The Sydney International Exhibition
The Melbourne International Exhibition
On a Spanish Cathedral
By the Cliffs of the Sea
After Many Years


The Muse of Australia
The Fate of the Explorers
The Barcoo
Fainting by the Way
The Old Year
Evening Hymn
The Ballad of Tanna
At Long Bay
The Opossum Hunters


In Memory of Edward Butler
Blue Mountain Pioneers
Intalgio - Frank Denz
How the Melbourne Cup Was Won
On a Baby Buried by the Hawkesbury
At Her Window
William Bede Dalley
On a Street
Hymn of Praise
Robert Parkes
The Austral Months
John Dunmore Long
Song of the Shingle-Splitters
Heath from the Highlands
Aboriginal Death-Song
Euterpe - A Cantata
To the Spirit of Music
Adam Lindsay Gordon. A Memorial Ode
Sydney harbour
A Birthday Trifle
Sydney Exhibition Cantata
Outre Mer

From the Lloyd O'Neil hardback edition, 1970.

This page and its contents are copyright © 2001-02 by Perry Middlemiss, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.

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Last modified: April 17, 2002.