The Finest View

A poem by John Kendall

Away, away! The plains of Ind
Have set their victim free;
I give my sorrows to the wind,
My sun-hat to the sea;
And, standing with a chosen few,
I watch a dying glow,
The passing of the Finest View
That all the world can show.

It would not fire an artist's eye,
This View whereof I sing;
Poets, no doubt, would pass it by
As quite a common thing;
The Tourist with belittling sniff
Would find no beauties there -
He couldn't if he would, and if
He could he wouldn't care.

Only for him that turns the back
On dark and evil days
It throws a glory down his track
That sets his heart ablaze;
A charm to make the wounded whole,
Which wearied eyes may draw
Luxuriously through the soul,
Like cocktails through a straw.

I have seen strong men moved to tears
When gazing o'er the deep,
Hard men, whom I have known for years,
Nor dreamt that they could weep;
Even myself, though stern and cold
Beyond the common line,
Cannot, for very joy, withhold
The tribute of my brine.

Farewell, farewell, thou best of Views!
I leave thee to thy pain,
And, while I have the power to choose,
We shall not meet again;
But, 'mid the scenes of joy and mirth,
My fancies oft will turn
Back to the Finest Sight on Earth,
The Bombay Lights - astern!

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