Watching [poem by Henry Kendall]

[Editor: This poem by Henry Kendall was published in Poems and Songs (1862).]


Like a bark of pearl, on a sapphire sea,
A pure bright Moon cometh over me ;
And I stand on the crags, and hear the falls
Go tumbling down, through the black river-walls ;
And the heart of the gorge is rent with the cry
Of the pent-up winds in their agony !
You are far from me, dear, where I watch and wait,
Like a weary bird for a long-lost mate,
And my life is as dull as the sluggish stream
Feeling its way through a world of dream ;
For here is a waste of darkness and fear,
And I call and I call, but no one will hear !

O, darling of mine, do you ever yearn
For a something lost, which will never return ?
O, darling of mine, on the grave of dead Hours,
Do you feel, like me, for a handful of flowers ?
Through the glens of the Past, do you wander along,
Like a restless ghost that hath done a wrong ?
And, lying alone, do you look from the drouth
Of a thirsty Life with a pleading mouth ?
When the rain’s on the roof, and the gales are abroad,
Do you wash with your tears the feet of your God ?
Oh ! I know you do, and he sitteth alone,
Your wounded Love, while you mourn and moan —
Oh ! I know you do, and he never will leap
From his silence with smiles, while you weep — and weep !

Your coolness shake down, ye gathered green leaves,
For my Spirit is faint with the love that it grieves !
Is there aught on the summit, O yearner through Night,
Aught on the summit which looks like the light ;
When my soul is a-wearied and lone in the land,
Groping around will it touch a kind hand ?
There are chasms between us as black as a pall,
But bring us together, O God over all !
And let me cast from me these fetters of Fear,
When I hear the glad singing of Faith so near ;
For I know by the cheeks, which are pallid and wet,
And a listening life we shall mingle yet !
Oh ! then I will turn to those eloquent eyes,
And clasp thee close, with a sweet surprise ;
And a guest will go in by the heart’s holy door,
And the chambers of Love shall be left no more.

Henry Kendall, Poems and Songs, J. R. Clarke, Sydney, 1862, pages 95-97

Editor’s notes:
bark = (also spelt “barque”) a small sailing ship in general, or specifically a sailing ship with three (or more) masts, in which the aftmost mast is fore-and-aft rigged, whilst the other masts are square-rigged

drouth = drought (a prolonged period of no rain or an abnormally low amount of rain); or, in general terms, a prolonged shortage or lack of something

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