Category Archives: BERTRAM STEVENS

MELINDA BY BERTRAM STEVENS

” Mrs Kendall is always reputed wherever she has been well known , as more than ordinarily good-looking, clever and lively; that she took great interest in the education of her children, especially that of Henry and early saw the promise of his poetic gift, the boy clinging to her particularly though also very devoted to his father.

Mrs A H Hamilton-Grey says that Stevens and Holdsworth both knew that Henry Kendall considered it to be from his mother that he inherited his talent. That she helped in his education and encouraged him to write verses when he was of an age to make his first letters. Mrs H-G then uses the lines of Melinda’s poem to illustrate this.

HENRY KENDALL

(By his mother)

He was born at the foot of the mountain,

He was taught his first letters in sand;

His companions – mimosas and gum trees –

And the beautiful birds of the land.

To his ear the wild scream of the curlew

Was sweeter than sweetest of fruits;

And the silvery tinkling of bell birds,

More soothing than ladies’ fine lutes.

The despised aborigines loved him,

They partook of his dry crust of bread;

And he followed wherever they led him

Without fear, or peril, or dread

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