voices from the past

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The Wild Kangaroo

by Henry Kendall (1839-1882)

Australian writer

Train-clouds have gone to the deep –
The East like a furnace doth glow;
And the day-spring is flooding the steep,
And sheening the landscape below.
Oh, ye who are gifted with souls
That delight in the music of birds,
Come forth where the scattered mist rolls,
And listen to eloquent words!
Oh, ye who are fond of the sport,
And would travel yon wilderness through,
Gather - each to his place - for a life-stirring chase,
In the wake of the wild Kangaroo!
Gather  – each to his place –
For a life-stirring chase
In the wake of the wild Kangaroo!

Beyond the wide rents of the fog,
The trees are illumined with gold;
And the bark of the shepherd's brave dog
Shoots away from the sheltering fold.
Down the depths of yon rock-border'd glade,
A torrent goes foaming along;
And the blind-owls retire into shade,
And the bell-bird beginneth its song.
By the side of that yawning abyss,
Where the vapours are hurrying to,
We will merrily pass, looking down to the grass
For the tracks of the wild Kangaroo!
We will merrily pass,
Looking down to the grass
For the tracks of the wild Kangaroo.

Ho, brothers, away to the woods;
Euroka hath clambered the hill;
But the morning there seldom intrudes,
Where the night-shadows slumber on still.
We will roam o'er these forest-lands wild,
And thread the dark masses of vines,
Where the winds, like the voice of a child,
Are singing aloft in the pines.
We must keep down the glee of our hounds;
We must –steal– through the glittering dew;
And the breezes shall sleep as we cautiously creep
To the haunts of the wild Kangaroo.
And the breezes shall sleep,
As we cautiously creep
To the haunts of the wild Kangaroo.

When we pass through a stillness like death
The swamp fowl and timorous quail,
Like the leaves in a hurricane's breath,
Will start from their nests in the vale;
And the forester, snuffing the air,
Will bound from his covert so dark,
While we follow along in the rear,
As arrows speed on to their mark!
Then the swift hounds shall bring him to bay,
And we'll send forth a hearty halloo,
As we gather them all to be in at the fall –
At the death of the wild Kangaroo!
As we gather them all
To be in at the fall –
At the death of the wild Kangaroo!

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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