In the Valley

Original Text: 
The Poems of Henry Kendall, ed. Bertram Stephens (Sydney: Angus and Robertson, 1920): 117. Sydney Electronic Text and Image Service (SETIS), digital text sponsored by AustLit: http://setis.library.usyd.edu.au/ozlit
1Said the yellow-haired Spirit of Spring
2    To the white-footed Spirit of Snow,
3"On the wings of the tempest take wing,
4    And leave me the valleys, and go."
5And, straightway, the streams were unchained,
7And the strength of the winter-wind waned
8    In the dawn of a light on the sea.
9Then a morning-breeze followed and fell,
10    And the woods were alive and astir
12    And a whisper of day in the fir.
13Swift rings of sweet water were rolled
14    Down the ways where the lily-leaves grew,
15And the green, and the white, and the gold,
16    Were wedded with purple and blue.
17But the lips of the flower of the rose
18    Said, "where is the ending hereof?
19Is it sweet with you, life, at the close?
20    Is it sad to be emptied of love?"
21And the voice of the flower of the peach
22    Was tender and touching in tone,
23"When each has been grafted on each,
24    It is sorrow to live on alone."
25Then the leaves of the flower of the vine
26    Said, "what will there be in the day
27When the reapers are red with my wine,
28    And the forests are yellow and grey?"
30    Made answer, "three seasons ago
31My sisters were star-like, but since,
32    Their graves have been made in the snow."
33Then the whispering flower of the fern
34    Said, "who will be sad at the death,
36    With the fierceness of fire in her breath?"
37And the mouth of the flower of the sedge
38    Was opened to murmur and sigh,
39"Sweet wind-breaths that pause at the edge
40    Of the nightfall, and falter, and die."

Notes

6] torrent: a strong and fast-moving stream of water. Back to Line
11] dell: a small valley, usually among trees. Back to Line
29] quince: a shrub of small tree of the rose family native to western Asia that bears an acid pear-shaped fruit often used in preserves. Back to Line
35] burn: a small stream. 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: