The crag-pent breezes sob and moan where hidden waters glide,
And twilight wanders round the Earth with slow and shadowy stride ;
The gleaming clouds, above the brows of western steeps uphurled,
Look like the spires of some fair town that bounds a brighter world.
Lo, from the depths of yonder wood, where many a blind creek strays,
The pure Australian moon comes forth, enwreathed with silver haze.
The rainy mists are trooping down the folding hills behind,
And distant torrent-voices rise like bells upon the wind ;
The echu’s songs are dying, with the flute-bird’s mellow tone,
And night recalls the gloomy owl to rove the wilds alone ;
Night — holy night ! in robes of blue, with golden stars encrowned,
Ascending mountains like to walls that hem an Eden round.
O lovely moon — O holy night ! how good your God must be,
When, through the glories of your light He stoops to look at me !
O glittering clouds and silvery shapes, that vanish one by one,
Is not the kindness of our Lord too great to think upon ?
If human song could flow as free as His created breeze,
When, sloping from some hoary height, it sweeps the vacant seas,
Then should my voice to Heaven ascend — my tuneful lyre be strung,
And music sweeter than the winds should roam these glens among.
Go by, ye golden-footed hours, to your mysterious bourne,
And hide the sins ye bear from hence so that they ne’er return.
Teach me, ye beauteous stars, to kiss kind Mercy’s chastening rod,
And, looking up from Nature’s face, to worship Nature’s God.
Henry Kendall, Poems and Songs, J. R. Clarke, Sydney, 1862, pages 52-54
bourne = boundary; in the context of life and soul, it refers to the boundary between life and death (a bourn, also spelt bourne, is a small stream)
hoary = someone with grey or white hair; very old