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Henry Kendall (Генри Кендалл)


Leaves from Australian Forests (1869). At Dusk


   At dusk, like flowers that shun the day,
    Shy thoughts from dim recesses break,
   And plead for words I dare not say
      For your sweet sake.

   My early love! my first, my last!
    Mistakes have been that both must rue;
   But all the passion of the past
      Survives for you.

   The tender message Hope might send
    Sinks fainting at the lips of speech,
   For, are you lover—are you friend,
      That I would reach?

   How much to-night I'd give to win
    A banished peace—an old repose;
   But here I sit, and sigh, and sin
      When no one knows.

   The stern, the steadfast reticence,
    Which made the dearest phrases halt,
   And checked a first and finest sense,
      Was not my fault.

   I held my words because there grew
    About my life persistent pride;
   And you were loved, who never knew
      What love could hide!

   This purpose filled my soul like flame:
    To win you wealth and take the place
   Where care is not, nor any shame
      To vex your face.

   I said "Till then my heart must keep
    Its secrets safe and unconfest;"
   And days and nights unknown to sleep
      The vow attest.

   Yet, oh! my sweet, it seems so long
    Since you were near; and fates retard
   The sequel of a struggle strong,
      And life is hard—

   Too hard, when one is left alone
    To wrestle passion, never free
   To turn and say to you, "My own,
      Come home to me!"



Henry Kendall's other poems:
  1. Other Poems (1871-82). On a Street
  2. Other Poems (1871-82). Outre Mer
  3. Other Poems (1871-82). Basil Moss
  4. Early Poems (1859-70). Sonnets
  5. Other Poems (1871-82). How the Melbourne Cup was Won


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