Thomas Henry Clarence Kendall was an Australian poet who died at the early age of forty-three after some rather dispirited and unhappy years. He was born in 1839, one of twins, in New South Wales. His father also died young, and Henry, as he was always known, spent some time on a whaler before becoming a clerk to try and support his mother and family. His life wasn’t easy and he died in 1882, another victim of tuberculosis.
Prefatory Sonnets – from ‘Leaves from Australian Forests’
I purposed once to take my pen and write,
Not songs, like some, tormented and awry
With passion, but a cunning harmony
Of words and music caught from glen and height,
And lucid colours born of woodland light
And shining places where the sea-streams lie.
But this was when the heat of youth glowed white,
And since I’ve put the faded purpose by.
I have no faultless fruits to offer you
Who read this book; but certain syllables
Herein are borrowed from unfooted dells
And secret hollows dear to noontide dew;
And these at least, though far between and few,
May catch the sense like subtle forest spells.