The Late W. V. Wild, Esq.

Henry Kendall 1839 (Australia) – 1882 (Sydney)

SAD FACES came round, and I dreamily said
“Though the harp of my country now slumbers,
Some hand will pass o’er it, in love for the dead,
And attune it to sorrowful numbers!”
But the hopes that I clung to are withering things,
For the days have gone by with a cloud on their wings,
And the touch of a bard is unknown to the strings—
Oh, why art thou silent, Australia?

The leaves of the autumn are scattering fast,
The willows look barren and lonely;
But I dream a sad dream of my friend of the past,
And his form I can dwell upon only!
In the strength of his youth I can see him go by.
There is health on the cheek, and a fire in the eye—
Oh, who would have thought that such beauty could die!
Ah, mourn for thy noblest, Australia!

A strange shadow broods o’er the desolate earth,
And the cypresses tremble and quiver;
But my heart waxeth dark with the thoughts of the worth
That has left us for ever and ever!
A dull cloud creepeth close to the moon,
And the winter winds pass with a shuddering croon—
Oh, why was he snatched from his brothers so soon?
Ah, weep for thy lost one, Australia!

How weary we grow when we turn to reflect
Upon what we have seen and believed in;
When harping on promises hopelessly wrecked,
And the things we have all been deceived in!
When a voice that I loved lingers near to me yet!
And a kind, handsome face which I’ll never forget—
Can I wake to the present and stifle regret—
Can I smother these feelings, Australia?

It is useless to grieve o’er the light that has fled
But the harp of my country still slumbers;
And I thought that some bard in his love for the dead,
Would have thrilled it to sorrowful numbers!
Lo, the hopes that I clung to are withering things
For the days have gone by with a cloud on their wings,
And my hand is too feeble to strike at the strings—
Oh, why art thou silent, Australia?

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Submitted on May 13, 2011


Henry Kendall

Thomas Henry Kendall was a nineteenth-century Australian author and bush poet, who was particularly known for his poems and tales set in a natural environment setting. more…

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