New: the Friday Australian Poem: #1 — Henry Kendall 1841-1882

10 Aug

Courtesy of Whitewolf’s collection I bring this very minor 19th century poem which I had never read before. If you remember your Henry Kendall, you will find most of his known poems on the first link below, and a biography linked to his name below that.

The Poems of Henry Kendall

On a Baby Buried by the Hawkesbury

[Lines sent to a Young Mother.]

Henry Kendall

A GRACE that was lent for a very few hours,
    By the bountiful Spirit above us;
She sleeps like a flower in the land of the flowers,
    She went ere she knew how to love us.
Her music of Heaven was strange to this sphere,
    Her voice is a silence for ever;
In the bitter, wild fall of a sorrowful year,
    We buried our bird by the river.

But the gold of the grass, and the green of the vine,
    And the music of wind and of water,
And the torrent of song and superlative shine,
    Are close to our dear little daughter.
The months of the year are all gracious to her,
    A winter breath visits her never;
She sleeps like a bird in a cradle of myrrh,
    By the banks of the beautiful river.

I wouldn’t examine the imagery there too closely, mind. Interesting to read, though, while reading The Secret River.


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Posted by on August 10, 2007 in Aussie interest, Marcel, OzLit, poets and poetry


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2 responses to “New: the Friday Australian Poem: #1 — Henry Kendall 1841-1882

  1. marcellous

    August 11, 2007 at 2:25 am

    I’m sure it gave comfort to the recipient/s. The first stanza is better than the second [IMHO].

  2. ninglun

    August 11, 2007 at 9:25 am

    I agree. “Superlative shine” is bloody awful really. Nonetheless, as you say, it must have given comfort and it does capture a moment in our history.

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