Henry Kendall

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

The Girl I Left Behind Me - Poem by Henry Kendall

With sweet Regret — (the dearest thing that Yesterday has left us) —
We often turn our homeless eyes to scenes whence Fate has reft us.
Here sitting by a fading flame, wild waifs of song remind me
Of Annie with her gentle ways, the Girl I left behind me.

I stood beside the surging sea, with lips of silent passion —
I faced you by the surging sea, O brows of mild repression!
I never said — “my darling, stay!” — the moments seemed to bind me
To something stifling all my words for the Girl I left behind me.

The pathos worn by common things — by every wayside flower,
Or Autumn leaf on lonely winds, revives the parting hour.
Ye swooning thoughts without a voice — ye tears which rose to blind me,
Why did she fade into the Dark, the Girl I left behind me.

At night they always come to me, the tender and true-hearted;
And in my dreams we join again the hands which now are parted;
And, looking through the gates of Sleep, the pleasant Moon doth find me
For ever wandering with my Love, the Girl I left behind me.

You know my life is incomplete, O far-off faint Ideal!
When shall I reach you from a depth of darkness which is real?
So I may mingle, soul in soul, with her that Heaven assigned me;
So she may lean upon my love, the Girl I left behind me.


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Poem Submitted: Wednesday, April 7, 2010



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