Henry Kendall

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

Outre Mer

I see, as one in dreaming,
   A broad, bright, quiet sea;
Beyond it lies a haven --
   The only home for me.
Some men grow strong with trouble,
   But all my strength is past,
And tired and full of sorrow,
   I long to sleep at last.
By force of chance and changes
   Man's life is hard at best;
And, seeing rest is voiceless,
   The dearest thing is rest.

Beyond the sea -- behold it,
   The home I wish to seek,
The refuge of the weary,
   The solace of the weak!
Sweet angel fingers beckon,
   Sweet angel voices ask
My soul to cross the waters;
   And yet I dread the task.
God help the man whose trials
   Are tares that he must reap!
He cannot face the future --
   His only hope is sleep.

Across the main a vision
   Of sunset coasts, and skies,
And widths of waters gleaming,
   Enchant my human eyes.
I, who have sinned and suffered,
   Have sought -- with tears have sought --
To rule my life with goodness,
   And shape it to my thought.
And yet there is no refuge
   To shield me from distress,
Except the realm of slumber
   And great forgetfulness.
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