A Day of Dream
On that bold hill, against a broad blue stream,
stood Arthur Phillip on a day of dream;
what time the mists of morning westward rolled
and heaven flowered on a bay of gold.
Here, in the hour that shines and sounds afar,
flamed first Old England's banner like a star;
Here in a time august with prayer and praise,
was born the nation of these splendid days,
and here, this land's majestic yesterday
of immemorial silence died away
Harps We Love
The harp we love hath a royal burst!
Its strings are mighty forest trees;
And branches, swaying to and fro,
Are fingers sounding symphonies.
The harp we love hath a solemn sound!
And rocks amongst the shallow seas
Are strings from which the rolling waves
Draw forth their stirring harmonies.
The harp we love hath a low sweet voice!
Its strings are in the bosom deep,
And Love will press those hidden chords
When all the baser passions sleep.
The sunsets fall and the sunsets fade,
But still I walk this shadowy land;
And grapple the dark and only the dark
In my search for a loving hand.
For it's here a still, deep woodland lies,
With spurs of pine and sheaves of fern;
But I wander wild, and wail like a child
For a face that will never return!
And it's here a mighty water flows,
With drifts of wind and wimpled waves;
But the darling head of a dear one dead
Is hidden beneath its caves.
To Miss Annie Hopkins
BENEATH the shelter of the bush,
In undisturbed repose—
Unruffled by the kiss of breeze—
There lurks a smiling rose;
Beneath thine outer beauty, gleams,
In holy light enshrined,
A symbol of the blooming flower,
A pure, unspotted mind.
The lovely tint that crowns the hill
When westward sinks the sun,
The milder dazzle in the stream
That evening sits upon,
The morning blushes, mantling o’er
The face of land and sea,
They all recall to mind the charms
That are combined in thee!
In the Depths of a Forest
In the depths of a Forest secluded and wild,
The night voices whisper in passionate numbers;
And I’m leaning again, as I did when a child,
O’er the grave where my father so quietly slumbers.
The years have rolled by with a thundering sound
But I knew, O ye woodlands, affection would know it,
And the spot which I stand on is sanctified ground
By the love that I bear to him sleeping below it.
Oh! well may the winds with a saddening moan
Go fitfully over the branches so dreary;
And well may I kneel by the time-shattered stone,
And rejoice that a rest has been found for the weary.
Another battle! and the sounds have rolled
By many a gloomy gorge and wasted plain
O’er huddled hills and mountains manifold,
Like winds that run before a heavy rain
When Autumn lops the leaves and drooping grain,
And earth lies deep in brown and cloudy gold.
My brothers, lo! our grand old England stands,
With weapons gleaming in her ready hands,
Outside the tumult! Let us watch and trust
That she will never darken in the dust
And drift of wild contention, but remain
The hope and stay of many troubled lands,
Where so she waits the issue of the fight,
Aloof; but praying “God defend the Right!”
To My Brother, Basil E. Kendall
TO-NIGHT the sea sends up a gulf-like sound,
And ancient rhymes are ringing in my head,
The many lilts of song we sang and said,
My friend and brother, when we journeyed round
Our haunts at Wollongong, that classic ground
For me at least, a lingerer deeply read
And steeped in beauty. Oft in trance I tread
Those shining shores, and hear your talk of Fame
With thought-flushed face and heart so well assured
(Beholding through the woodland’s bright distress
The Moon half pillaged of her loveliness)
Of this wild dreamer: Had you but endured
A dubious dark, you might have won a name
With brighter bays than I can ever claim.
News of War
Today, while yet the rumour filled the street,
I left your faces troubled with the thought
Of brothers to a bodeful fury wrought;
And, hurrying past a thousand twinkling feet,
With clouded heart a solitude I sought,
The haunt of many leaves--a cool retreat--
And mused of strife with untold interest fraught;
Of homes; of bloody battles to be fought;
Nor stirred till night rose stormy, and the deep
Moaned like some monster shaken in its sleep.
Then doleful sounds came up from lea and lynn
Where rain fell heavy on the gloomy deep,
As if the world, so old and sick of sin,
Had turned her face into the dark to weep.
A Mountain Spring
Peace hath an altar there. The sounding feet
Of thunder and the wildering wings of rain
Against fire-rifted summits flash and beat,
And through grey upper gorges swoop and strain;
But round that hallowed mountain-spring remain,
Year after year, the days of tender heat,
And gracious nights whose lips with flowers are sweet,
And filtered lights, and lutes of soft refrain.
A still, bright pool. To men I may not tell
The secrets that its heart of water knows,
The story of a loved and lost repose;
Yet this I say to cliff and close-leaved dell:
A fitful spirit haunts yon limpid well,
Whose likeness is the faithless face of Rose.
On a Baby Buried by the Hawkesbury
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.