voices from the past

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Etheline

by Henry Kendall (1839-1882)

Australian writer

The heart that once was rich with light,
And happy in your grace,
Now lieth cold beneath the scorn
That gathers on your face;
And every joy it knew before,
And every templed dream,
Is paler than the dying flash
On yonder mountain stream.
The soul, regretting foundered bliss
Amid the wreck of years,
Hath mourned it with intensity
Too deep for human tears!

The forest fadeth underneath
The blast that rushes by
The dripping leaves are white with death,
But Love will never die!
We both have seen the starry moss
That clings where Ruin reigns,
And one must know his lonely breast
Affection still retains;
Through all the sweetest hopes of life,
That clustered round and round,
Are lying now, like withered things,
Forsaken on the ground.

'Tis hard to think of what we were,
And what we might have been,
Had not an evil spirit crept
Across the tranquil scene:
Had fervent feelings in your soul
Not failed nor ceased to shine
As pure as those existing on,
And burning still in mine.
Had every treasure at your feet
That I was wont to pour,
Been never thrown like worthless weeds
Upon a barren shore!

The bitter edge of grief has passed,
I would not now upbraid;
Or count to you the broken vows,
So often idly made!
I would not cross your path to chase
The falsehood from your brow
I know, with all that borrowed light,
You are not happy now:
Since those that once have trampled down
Affection's early claim,
Have lost a peace they need not hope
To find on earth again.

About the Author

See our page on Henry Kendall. Includes a linked list of all his writing available on our website.

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