Poem: A Thought of Henry Kendall by M.M.

Had I gone first he surely would have writ
   Some kindly words in loving memory --
Touching a drear old history -- clothing it
   With grace, as ivy leaves -- and aged tree

But he has breasted first the mighty wave
   Which flows around Eternity, and left
Blind seekers still to wonder and to crave,
   With clamorous thoughts, for light -- of light bereft.

I see the flying form of youth, the sun
   In radiant limbs -- distraught with blind desire --
And Daphne's hurrying shade, which seeks to shun
   His passionate looks that breathe destructive fire.

Two ghastly forms within a pit I see
   Sawing till doom; -- and stifled groans I hear
From shadows passing round a baleful tree,
   Until my creeping flesh is quick with fear.

And then, beyond the fiery cones of hills --
   That sing to the wild main in sympathy --
I see in mossy rents the morning rills
   That march in midnight thunder to the sea.

While from Kerguelen, on a stormy main,
   Swept by remorseless winds which scourge the Pole,
A voice comes echoing, as in grief or pain,
   "Oh! listen to a brother's passing soul;

I meet that Infinite of which we dreamed,
   The mighty mysteries to comprehend
That fold life round, until it almost seemed
   That God Himself had ceased to be our friend.

Beyond the stars there is a rest serene,
   Which neither love, nor fame, nor happiness
Can ever stir with hints of what has been.
   Nor make that gift supreme, or more or less!

Awhile, old friend! and then we meet once more,
   Not in the cruel conflicts of the day.
Till then, adieu! the struggle now is o'er --
   The wearied spirit passes on its way."

First published in Australian Town and Country Journal, 5 August 1882
Note: Henry Kendall died on 1st August 1882.

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This page contains a single entry by Perry Middlemiss published on May 17, 2008 7:47 AM.

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