Mountain Moss [poem by Henry Kendall]

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

Mountain Moss.

It lies amongst the sleeping stones,
Far down the hidden mountain-glade;
And past its brink the torrent moans
For ever in a dreamy shade.

A little patch of dark-green moss,
Whose softness grew of quiet ways,
(With all its deep, delicious floss,)
In slumb’rous suns of summer days.

You know the place? With pleasant tints
The broken sunset lights the bowers;
And then the woods are full with hints
Of distant, dear, voluptuous flowers!

’Tis often now the pilgrim turns
A faded face towards that seat,
And cools his brow amongst the ferns:
The runnel dabbling at his feet.

There fierce December seldom goes,
With scorching step, and dust, and drouth;
But, soft and low, October blows
Sweet odours from her dewy mouth.

And Autumn, like a gipsy bold,
Doth gather near it grapes and grain,
Ere Winter comes, the woodman old,
To lop the leaves in wind and rain.

O, greenest moss of mountain glen,
The face of Rose is known to thee;
But we shall never share with men
A knowledge dear to Love and me!

For are they not between us saved,
The words my darling used to say;
What time the western waters laved
The forehead of the fainting Day!

Cool comfort had we on your breast
While yet the fervid Noon burned mute
O’er barley field and barren crest,
And leagues of gardens flushed with fruit.

Oh! sweet and low, we whispered so;
And sucked the pulp of plum and peach:
But it was many years ago,
When each, you know, was loved of each.

Henry Kendall, Leaves from Australian Forests, Melbourne: George Robertson, 1869, pages 127-129

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