Euroclydon by Henry Kendall

| No TrackBacks
      On the storm-cloven Cape  
         The bitter waves roll  
         With the bergs of the Pole,
And the darks and the damps of the Northern Sea;
      For the storm-cloven Cape
      Is an alien Shape
With a fearful face, and it moans and it stands
      Outside all lands

      When the fruits of the year
         Have been gathered in Spain,   
         And the Indian rain
Is rich on the evergreen lands of the Sun,
      There comes to this Cape --
      To this alien Shape,
As the waters beat in and the echoes troop forth
      The Wind of the North,

      And the wilted thyme,
         And the patches past
         Of the nettles cast
In the drift of the rift, and the broken rime,
      Are tumbled and blown
      To every zone  
With the famished glede, and the plovers thinned
      By this fourfold Wind --
            This Wind sublime!

      On the wrinkled hills
         By starts and fits
         The wild Moon sits,
And the rindles fill, and flash, and fall
      In the way of her light
      Through the straitened Night
When the sea heralds clamour and elves of the war    
      In the tortents afar,
            Hold festival.

      From ridge to ridge
         The polar fires
         On the naked spires
With a foreign splendeur flit and flow  
      And clough and cave
      And architrave,
Are red from side to side, from wall to wall,
      Like a nether hall
            In the hells below!  

      The dead dry lips
         Of the ledges, split
         By the thunder-fit
And the stress of the sprites of the forked flame,
      Anon break out
      With a shriek and a shout,  
Like a hard bitter laughter, cracked and thin
      From a ghost with a sin
            Too dark for a name!  

      And all through the year
         The fierce seas run
         From sun to sun;  
Across the face of a vacant world!  
      And the Wind flies forth  
      From the wild white North,
That shivers and harries the heart of things,
      And shapes with its wings
            A Chaos uphurled!

      Like one who sees
         A rebel light
         In the thick of the night,
As he stumbles and staggers on summits afar
      Who looks to it still   
      Up hill and hill.
With a steadfast hope (though the ways be deep
      And rough and steep),
            Like a steadfast star;   

      So I that Stand
         On the outermost peaks
         Of peril, with cheeks
Blue with the salts of a frosty Sea,
      Have learnt to wait   
      With an eye elate,
And a heart intent, for the fuller blaze
      Of the Beauty that rays
            Like a glimpse for me.

      Of the Beauty that grows
         Whenever I hear
         The Winds of Fear
From the tops and the bases of barrenness call.
      And the duplicate lore
      Which I learn evermore,    
Is of harmony filling and rounding the Storm,
      And the marvellous Form  
            That governs all!

First published in The Sydney Morning Herald, 29 May 1866;
and later in
The Australasian, 23 March 1867;
Leaves from Australian Forests by Henry Kendall, 1869;
Selected Poems of Henry Kendall edited by T. Inglis Moore, 1957;
The Poetical Works of Henry Kendall edited by Thomas Thornton Reed, 1966; and
Henry Kendall: Poetry, Prose and Selected Correspondence edited by Michael Ackland, 1993.

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

See also.

No TrackBacks

TrackBack URL:

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Perry Middlemiss published on May 29, 2012 8:46 AM.

The Pannikin Poet by A. B. "Banjo" Paterson was the previous entry in this blog.

Rondel by Christopher Brennan is the next entry in this blog.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.


Powered by Movable Type 4.23-en