To My Lady Of The Hills

A poem by John Kendall

'... O she,
To me myself, for some three careless moons,
The summer pilot of an empty heart
Unto the shores of Nothing.' - Tennyson.

'Tis the hour when golden slumbers
Through th' Hesperian portals creep,
And the youth who lisps in numbers
Dreams of novel rhymes to 'sleep';
I shall merely note, at starting,
That responsive Nature thrills
To the twilight hour of parting
From my Lady of the Hills.

Lady, 'neath the deepening umbrage
We have wandered near and far,
To the ludicrously dumb rage
Of your truculent Mamma;
We have urged the long-tailed gallop;
Lightly danced the still night through;
Smacked the ball, and oared the shallop
(In a vis-à-vis canoe);

We have walked this fair Oasis,
Keeping, more by skill than chance,
To the non-committal basis
Of indefinite romance;
Till, as love within me ripened,
I have wept the hours away,
Brooding on my meagre stipend,
Mourning mine exiguous pay.

Dear, 'tis hard, indeed, to stifle
Fervour such as mine has grown,
And I 'd freely give a trifle
Could I win you for mine own;
But the question simply narrows
Down to one persistent fact,
That we cannot say we're sparrows,
And we oughtn't so to act.

Married bliss is born of incomes;
While to drag the long years through
Till some hypothetic tin comes,
Seems a childish thing to do;
Rather let us own as lasting
Our unpardonable crime,
Giving thanks, with prayer and fasting,
For so very high a time.

Fare you well. Your dreadful Mother,
If I know that woman's mind,
Has her eye upon Another
Vice me, my dear, resigned;
And I see you mated shortly
To some covenanted swain,
Not objectionably portly,
Not prohibitively plain.

Take his gifts, and ask a blessing.
Meddle not with minor cares.
Trust me, your unprepossessing
Dam soon settles those affairs!
Then will I, with honeyed suasion,
Pinch some thriftless man of bills
Of a mark of the occasion
For my Lady of the Hills.

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