Sitting by the Fire

A poem by Henry Kendall

Ah! the solace in the sitting,
Sitting by the fire,
When the wind without is calling
And the fourfold clouds are falling,
With the rain-racks intermitting,
Over slope and spire.
Ah! the solace in the sitting,
Sitting by the fire.

Then, and then, a man may ponder,
Sitting by the fire,
Over fair far days, and faces
Shining in sweet-coloured places
Ere the thunder broke asunder
Life and dear Desire.
Thus, and thus, a man may ponder,
Sitting by the fire.

Waifs of song pursue, perplex me,
Sitting by the fire:
Just a note, and lo, the change then!
Like a child, I turn and range then,
Till a shadow starts to vex me
Passion’s wasted pyre.
So do songs pursue, perplex me,
Sitting by the fire.

Night by night the old, old story
Sitting by the fire,
Night by night, the dead leaves grieve me:
Ah! the touch when youth shall leave me,
Like my fathers, shrunken, hoary,
With the years that tire.
Night by night that old, old story,
Sitting by the fire.

Sing for slumber, sister Clara,
Sitting by the fire.
I could hide my head and sleep now,
Far from those who laugh and weep now,
Like a trammelled, faint wayfarer,
’Neath yon mountain-spire.
Sing for slumber, sister Clara,
Sitting by the fire.

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