The Wild Kangaroo by Henry Kendall

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The rain-clouds have gone to the deep --
The East like a furnance doth glow,
And the Day-spring in flooding the steep,
And sheening the landscape below!
Oh! ye who are gifted with souls
That delight in the music of birds,
Come forth where the scattered mist rolls,
And listen to eloquent words! --
Oh! ye who are fond of the sport,
And would travel yon wilderness through,
Gather -- each to his place -- for a life-stirring chase
In the wake of the wild kangaroo!    
   Gather -- each to his place --  
   For a life-stirring chase
In the wake of the wild kangaroo!  

Beyond the wide rents of the fog,  
The trees are illumm'd with gold,
And the bark of the shepherd's brave dog
Shoots away from the sheltering fold!
Down the depths of yon rock-border'd glade,
A torrent goes foaming along;
While the blind owls retire into shade,
And the "echu"* beginneth its song.
By the side at that yawning abyss
Where the vapours are hurrying to,
We will merrily pass, looking down to the grass
For the tracks of the wild kangaroo!
   We will merrily pass,
   Looking down to the grass,
For the tracks of the wild kangaroo.

Ho! brothers, away to the woods!
Euroka+ hath clamber'd the hill;
But the morning there seldom intrudes,
Where the night shadows slumber on still!
We will roam o'er these forest-land's wild,
And thread the dark masses of vines,
Where the winds, like the a voice of a child,
Are singing aloft in the pines!
We must keep down the glee of our hounds --
We must steal through the glittering dew;
And the breezes shall sleep, as we cautiously creep
To the haunts of the wild kangaroo!
   And the breezes shall sleep,
   As we cautiously creep
To the haunts of the wild kangaroo!    

When we pass thro' a stillness like Death,
The swamp-fowl and timorous quail,
Like the leaves in a hurricane's breath,
Will start from their nests in the vale.
And the forester#, snuffing the air,
Will bound from his covert so dark,
While we follow along in the rear,
As arrows speed on to their mark!
Then the swift hounds shall bring him to bay,
And we'll send forth a hearty halloo;
As we gather them all, to be in at the fall --
At the death of the wild kangaroo!
   As we gather them all,
   To be in at the fall --
At the death of the wild kangaroo!    

First published in The Sydney Morning Herald, 18 June 1861;
and later in
Bell's Life in Sydney and Sporting Chronicle, 2 August 1862;
Poems and Songs by Henry Kendall, 1862; and
The Poetical Works of Henry Kendall edited by Thomas Thornton Reed, 1966.

* A bird commonly called "The Coachman's Whip."       
+ " Euroka," an aboriginal name for the Sun.      
# This is a term applied by settlers to the "Old Man Kangaroo." 

Author reference sites: Austlit, Australian Dictionary of Biography, Australian Poetry Library

See also.

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This page contains a single entry by Perry Middlemiss published on June 18, 2011 9:01 AM.

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