Henry Kendall

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

The Curlew Song - Poem by Henry Kendall

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!


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Poem Submitted: Wednesday, April 7, 2010



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