The Curlew Song [poem by Henry Kendall]

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

The Curlew Song.

The viewless blast flies moaning past,
Away to the forest trees ;
Where giant pines and leafless vines
Bend ’neath the wandering breeze !
From ferny streams, unearthly screams
Are heard in the midnight blue ;
As afar they roam to the shepherd’s home,
The shrieks of the wild Curlew !
As afar they roam
To the shepherd’s home,
The shrieks of the wild Curlew !

The mists are curled o’er a dark-faced world,
And the shadows sleep around,
Where the clear lagoon reflects the moon
In her hazy glory crowned ;
While dingoes howl, and wake the growl
Of the watchdog brave and true ;
Whose loud, rough bark shoots up in the dark,
With the song of the lone Curlew !
Whose loud, rough bark
Shoots up in the dark,
With the song of the lone Curlew !

Near herby banks the dark green ranks
Of the rushes stoop to drink ;
And the ripples chime, in a measured time,
On the smooth and mossy brink ;
As wind-breaths sigh, and pass, and die,
To start from the swamps anew,
And join again o’er ridge and plain
With the wails of the sad Curlew !
And join again
O’er ridge and plain
With the wails of the sad Curlew !

The clouds are thrown around the cone
Of the mountain bare and high,
(Whose craggy peak uprears to the cheek —
To the face of the sombre sky) ;
When down beneath the foggy wreath,
Full many a gully through,
They rend the air, like cries of despair,
The screams of the wild Curlew !
They rend the air,
Like cries of despair,
The screams of the wild Curlew !

The viewless blast flies moaning past,
Away to the forest trees ;
Where giant pines and leafless vines
Bend ’neath the wandering breeze !
From ferny streams, unearthly screams
Are heard in the midnight blue ;
As afar they roam to the shepherd’s home,
The shrieks of the wild Curlew !
As afar they roam
To the shepherd’s home,
The shrieks of the wild Curlew !



Source:
Henry Kendall, Poems and Songs, J. R. Clarke, Sydney, 1862, pages 41-43

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