Arakoon

Original Text: 
The Poems of Henry Kendall, ed. Bertram Stephens (Sydney: Angus and Robertson, 1920): 98-99. Sydney Electronic Text and Image Service (SETIS), digital text sponsored by AustLit: http://setis.library.usyd.edu.au/ozlit
3Bases battle with the seas,
4Looms across fierce widths of fleeting
5        Waters beating
7Arakoon, the black, the lonely!
8        Housed with only
9Cloud and rain-wind, mist and damp:
10Round whose foam-drenched feet and nether
11        Depths, together
12Sullen sprites of thunder tramp!
13There the East hums loud and surly,
14        Late and early,
15Through the chasms and the caves,
16And across the naked verges
17        Leap the surges!
18White and wailing waifs of waves.
19Day by day the sea-fogs gathered--
20        Tempest-fathered--
21Pitch their tents on yonder peak!
22Yellow drifts and fragments, lying
23        Where the flying
25And at nightfall, when the driven
26        Bolts of heaven
27Smite the rock and break the bluff,
28Thither troop the elves whose home is
29        Where the foam is,
32        Stormy voices,
33And the salt breath of the Strait,
34Stands the steadfast Mountain Giant,
35        Grim, reliant,
36Dark as Death, and firm as Fate!
37So when trouble treads, like thunder,
38        Weak men under--
40Set thyself to bear it bravely,
41        Greatly, gravely,
42Like the hill in yonder seas:
43Since the wrestling and endurance
44        Give assurance
45To the faint at bay with pain,
46That no soul to strong Endeavour
47        Yoked for ever,
48Works against the tide in vain.

Notes

1] Arakoon: "A promontory on the coast of New South Wales" (subtitle note), midway between Sydney and Brisbane. Back to Line
2] Hill: evidently Smoky Cape. Back to Line
6] leas: open areas of grassy land. Back to Line
24] chafe: rub and cause irritation.
cloven: split or divided in two. Back to Line
30] clough: a gorge or narrow ravine. Back to Line
31] girt: encircled as with a belt or band. Back to Line
39] thews: muscles or tendons. Back to Line
Publication Start Year: 
1869
Publication Notes: 
Leaves from Australian Forests (1869)
RPO poem Editors: 
Cameron La Follette
RPO Edition: 
2011
Rhyme: 
Form: