Sitting by the Fire [poem by Henry Kendall]

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

Sitting by the Fire.

Ah! the solace in the sitting,
Sitting by the fire,
When the wind without is calling
And the fourfold clouds are falling,
With the rain-racks intermitting,
Over slope and spire.
Ah! the solace in the sitting,
Sitting by the fire.

Then, and then, a man may ponder,
Sitting by the fire,
Over fair far days, and faces
Shining in sweet-coloured places
Ere the thunder broke asunder
Life and dear Desire.
Thus, and thus, a man may ponder,
Sitting by the fire.

Waifs of song pursue, perplex me,
Sitting by the fire:
Just a note, and lo, the change then!
Like a child, I turn and range then,
Till a shadow starts to vex me —
Passion’s wasted pyre.
So do songs pursue, perplex me,
Sitting by the fire.

Night by night — the old, old story —
Sitting by the fire,
Night by night, the dead leaves grieve me:
Ah! the touch when youth shall leave me,
Like my fathers, shrunken, hoary,
With the years that tire.
Night by night — that old, old story,
Sitting by the fire.

Sing for slumber, sister Clara,
Sitting by the fire.
I could hide my head and sleep now,
Far from those who laugh and weep now,
Like a trammelled, faint wayfarer,
’Neath yon mountain-spire.
Sing for slumber, sister Clara,
Sitting by the fire.



Source:
Henry Kendall, Leaves from Australian Forests, Melbourne: George Robertson, 1869, pages 74-75

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