In Memoriam: Daniel Henry Deniehy [poem by Henry Kendall]

[Editor: This poem by Henry Kendall was published in Leaves from Australian Forests (1869).]

In Memoriam.

Daniel Henry Deniehy.

Take the harp, but very softly for our brother touch the strings:
Wind and wood shall help to wail him, waves and mournful mountain-springs.
Take the harp, but very softly, for the friend who grew so old
Through the hours we would not hear of — nights we would not fain behold!
Other voices, sweeter voices, shall lament him year by year,
Though the morning finds us lonely, though we sit and marvel here:
Marvel much while Summer cometh, trammelled with November wheat,
Gold about her forehead gleaming, green and gold about her feet;
Yea, and while the land is dark with plover, gull, and gloomy glede,
Where the cold, swift songs of Winter fill the interlucent reed.

Yet my harp, and O, my fathers, never look for Sorrow’s lay,
Making life a mighty darkness in the patient noon of day;
Since he resteth whom we loved so, out beyond these fleeting seas,
Blowing clouds, and restless regions paved with old perplexities,
In a land where thunder breaks not, in a place unknown of snow,
Where the rain is mute for ever, where the wild winds never go:
Home of far-forgotten phantoms — genii of our peaceful prime,
Shining by perpetual waters past the ways of Change and Time:
Haven of the harried spirit, where it folds its wearied wings,
Turns its face and sleeps a sleep with deep forgetfulness of things.

His should be a grave by mountains, in a cool and thick-mossed lea,
With the lone creek falling past it — falling ever to the sea.
His should be a grave by waters, by a bright and broad lagoon,
Making steadfast splendours hallowed of the quiet-shining moon.
There the elves of many forests — wandering winds and flying lights —
Born of green, of happy mornings, dear to yellow summer nights,
Full of dole for him that loved them, then might halt, and then might go,
Finding fathers of the people to their children speaking low —
Speaking low of one who, failing, suffered all the poet’s pain,
Dying with the dead leaves round him — hopes which never grow again.



Source:
Henry Kendall, Leaves from Australian Forests, Melbourne: George Robertson, 1869, pages 153-155

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