Henry Kendall

(18 April 1839 – 1 August 1882 / Ulladulla, New South Wales)

Sitting By The Fire - Poem by Henry Kendall

Barren Age and withered World!
Oh! the dying leaves,
Like a drizzling rain,
Falling round the roof -
Pattering on the pane!
Frosty Age and cold, cold World!
Ghosts of other days,
Trooping past the faded fire,
Flit before the gaze.
Now the wind goes soughing wild
O'er the whistling Earth;
And we front a feeble flame,
Sitting round the hearth!
Sitting by the fire,
Watching in its glow,
Ghosts of other days
Trooping to and fro.



Oh, the nights - the nights we've spent,
Sitting by the fire,
Cheerful in its glow;
Twenty summers back -
Twenty years ago!
If the days were days of toil
Wherefore should we mourn;
There were shadows near the shine,
Flowers with the thorn?
And we still can recollect
Evenings spent in mirth -
Fragments of a broken life,
Sitting round the hearth:
Sitting by the fire,
Cheerful in its glow,
Twenty summers back -
Twenty years ago.

Beauty stooped to bless us once,
Sitting by the fire,
Happy in its glow;
Forty summers back -
Forty years ago.
Words of love were interchanged,
Maiden hearts we stole;
And the light affection throws
Slept on every soul.
Oh, the hours went flying past -
Hours of priceless worth;
But we took no note of Time,
Sitting round the hearth:
Sitting by the fire,
Happy in its glow,
Forty summers back -
Forty years ago.

Gleesome children were we not?
Sitting by the fire,
Ruddy in its glow,
Sixty summers back -
Sixty years ago.
Laughing voices filled the room;
Oh, the songs we sung,
When the evenings hurried by -
When our hearts were young!
Pleasant faces watched the flame -
Eyes illumed with mirth -
And we told some merry tales,
Sitting round the hearth:
Sitting by the fire,
Ruddy in its glow,
Sixty summers back -
Sixty years ago.



Barren Age and withered World!
Oh, the dying leaves,
Like a drizzling rain,
Falling round the roof -
Pattering on the pane!
Frosty Age and cold, cold World!
Ghosts of other days,
Trooping past the faded fire,
Flit before the gaze.
Now the wind goes soughing wild
O'er the whistling Earth;
And we front a feeble flame,
Sitting round the hearth:
Sitting by the fire,
Watching, in its glow,
Ghosts of other days
Trooping to and fro!


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Poem Submitted: Wednesday, April 7, 2010



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