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Henry Kendall (Генри Кендалл)


Leaves from Australian Forests (1869). Moss on a Wall


   Dim dreams it hath of singing ways,
    Of far-off woodland water-heads,
   And shining ends of April days
    Amongst the yellow runnel-beds.

   Stoop closer to the ruined wall,
    Whereon the wilful wilding sleeps,
   As if its home were waterfall
    By dripping clefts and shadowy steeps.

   A little waif, whose beauty takes
    A touching tone because it dwells
   So far away from mountain lakes,
    And lily leaves, and lightening fells.

   Deep hidden in delicious floss
    It nestles, sister, from the heat—
   A gracious growth of tender moss
    Whose nights are soft, whose days are sweet.

   Swift gleams across its petals run
    With winds that hum a pleasant tune,
   Serene surprises of the sun,
    And whispers from the lips of noon.

   The evening-coloured apple-trees
    Are faint with July's frosty breath.
   But lo! this stranger getteth ease,
    And shines amidst the strays of Death.

   And at the turning of the year,
    When August wanders in the cold,
   The raiment of the nursling here
    Is rich with green and glad with gold.

   Oh, friend of mine, to one whose eyes
    Are vexed because of alien things,
   For ever in the wall moss lies
    The peace of hills and hidden springs.

   From faithless lips and fickle lights
    The tired pilgrim sets his face,
   And thinketh here of sounds and sights
    In many a lovely forest-place.

   And when by sudden fits and starts
    The sunset on the moss doth burn,
   He often dreams, and, lo! the marts
    And streets are changed to dells of fern.

   For, let me say, the wilding placed
    By hands unseen amongst these stones,
   Restores a Past by Time effaced,
    Lost loves and long-forgotten tones!

   As sometimes songs and scenes of old
    Come faintly unto you and me,
   When winds are wailing in the cold,
    And rains are sobbing on the sea.



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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