Henry Kendall

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

The Waterfall - Poem by Henry Kendall

THE SONG of the water
Doomed ever to roam,
A beautiful exile,
Afar from its home.

The cliffs on the mountain,
The grand and the gray,
They took the bright creature
And hurled it away!

I heard the wild downfall,
And knew it must spill
A passionate heart out
All over the hill.

Oh! was it a daughter
Of sorrow and sin,
That they threw it so madly
Down into the lynn?
. . . . .
And listen, my Sister,
For this is the song
The Waterfall taught me
The ridges among:—

“Oh where are the shadows
So cool and so sweet
And the rocks,” saith the water,
“With the moss on their feet?

“Oh, where are my playmates
The wind and the flowers—
The golden and purple—
Of honey-sweet bowers,

“Mine eyes have been blinded
Because of the sun;
And moaning and moaning
I listlessly run.

“These hills are so flinty!—
Ah! tell me, dark Earth,
What valley leads back to
The place of my birth?—

“What valley leads up to
The haunts where a child
Of the caverns I sported,
The free and the wild?

“There lift me,”—it crieth,
“I faint from the heat;
With a sob for the shadows
So cool and so sweet.”

Ye rocks, that look over
With never a tear,
I yearn for one half of
The wasted love here!

My sister so wistful,
You know I believe,
Like a child for the mountains
This water doth grieve.

Ah! you with the blue eyes
And golden-brown hair,
Come closer and closer
And truly declare:—

Supposing a darling
Once happened to sin,
In a passionate space,
Would you carry her in—

If your fathers and mothers,
The grand and the gray,
Had taken the weak one
And hurled her away?


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Poem Submitted: Wednesday, April 7, 2010



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