Henry Kendall ( )

Songs from the Mountains (1880). Black Kate

Kate, they say, is seventeen
 Do not count her sweet, you know.
Arms of her are rather lean
 Ditto, calves and feet, you know.
Features of Hellenic type
 Are not patent here, you see.
Katie loves a black clay pipe
 Doesn't hate her beer, you see.

Spartan Helen used to wear
 Tresses in a plait, perhaps:
Kate has ochre in her hair
 Nose is rather flat, perhaps.
Rose Lorraine's surpassing dress
 Glitters at the ball, you see:
Daughter of the wilderness
 Has no dress at all, you see.

Laura's lovers every day
 In sweet verse embody her:
Katie's have a different way,
 Being frank, they "waddy" her.
Amy by her suitor kissed,
 Every nightfall looks for him:
Kitty's sweetheart isn't missed
 Kitty "humps" and cooks for him.

Smith, and Brown, and Jenkins, bring
 Roses to the fair, you know.
Darkies at their Katie fling
 Hunks of native bear, you know.
English girls examine well
 All the food they take, you twig:
Kate is hardly keen of smell
 Kate will eat a snake, you twig.

Yonder lady's sitting room
 Clean and cool and dark it is:
Kitty's chamber needs no broom
 Just a sheet of bark it is.
You may find a pipe or two
 If you poke and grope about:
Not a bit of starch or blue
 Not a sign of soap about.

Girl I know reads Lalla Rookh
 Poem of the "heady" sort:
Kate is better as a cook
 Of the rough and ready sort.
Byron's verse on Waterloo,
 Makes my darling glad, you see:
Kate prefers a kangaroo
 Which is very sad, you see.

Other ladies wear a hat
 Fit to write a sonnet on:
Kitty hasthe naughty cat
 Neither hat nor bonnet on!
Fifty silks has Madame Tate
 She who loves to spank it on:
All her clothes are worn by Kate
 When she has her blanket on.

Let her rip! the Phrygian boy
 Bolted with a brighter one;
And the girl who ruined Troy
 Was a rather whiter one.
Katie's mouth is hardly Greek
 Hardly like a rose it is:
Katie's nose is not antique
 Not the classic nose it is.

Dryad in the grand old day,
 Though she walked the woods about,
Didn't smoke a penny clay
 Didn't "hump" her goods about.
Daphne by the fairy lake,
 Far away from din and all,
Never ate a yard of snake,
 Head and tail and skin and all.

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

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