To My Brother, Basil E. Kendall

To My Brother, Basil E. Kendall

Henry Kendall

TO-NIGHT the sea sends up a gulf-like sound,
And ancient rhymes are ringing in my head,
The many lilts of song we sang and said,
My friend and brother, when we journeyed round
Our haunts at Wollongong, that classic ground
For me at least, a lingerer deeply read
And steeped in beauty. Oft in trance I tread
Those shining shores, and hear your talk of Fame
With thought-flushed face and heart so well assured
(Beholding through the woodland’s bright distress
The Moon half pillaged of her loveliness)
Of this wild dreamer: Had you but endured
A dubious dark, you might have won a name
With brighter bays than I can ever claim.



  • Re=check “AFTER MANY YEARS”
  • Loss of baby granddaughter ARALUEN through death in 1870

Often I sit, looking back to a childhood
Mixt with the sights and the sounds of the wildwood,
Longing for power and the sweetness to fashion
Lyrics with beats like the heart-beats of passion—
Songs interwoven of lights and of laughters
Borrowed from bell-birds in far forest rafters;
So I might keep in the city and alleys
The beauty and strength of the deep mountain valleys,
Charming to slumber the pain of my losses
With glimpses of creeks and a vision of mosses.

Details not necessarily accurate

  • Henry Kendall returned to Sydney in March, 1857, and at once
    obtained employment in the city and set about making a home for
    his mother and sisters.  Mrs. Kendall, granddaughter of Leonard McNally,
    a Dublin notable of his day, was a clever, handsome woman
    with a strong constitution and a volatile temperament.
    Henry was always devoted to her, and considered that from her
    he inherited whatever talent he possessed.  She helped in his education,
  • Kendall's mother brought him to Mr. Sheridan Moore, who had some reputation
    as a literary critic.  He was greatly interested in the poems, and promised
    to try to raise money for their publication.  Subscriptions were invited
    by advertisement in January, 1861, but came in so slowly that,
    after a year's delay, Kendall almost despaired of publication.
    and encouraged him to write verse.

    This reflects some of the issues seen in Melinda’s life. Daughter of Roman Catholic Irish. Registered in censuses at Rev Richard Hill’s as ANGLICAN. Married in Second Scots Church as a Presbyterian to Basil Kendall , son of an Anglican preacher who also registers as Presbyterian on Marriage Certificate.

Re. Douglas Sladen writing

“In A Century of Australian Song he makes a puzzling observation about Henry Kendall, whom he seems to have known at least reasonably well. He suggests that Kendall was something of an outsider in social and literary circles in so far as he was a Roman Catholic `in a secular, or at best an undenominational community’ (17). For anyone familiar with the period and the milieu this immediately raises two queries: how do we know that Kendall was a Catholic, practising or not? and what evidence is there that being a Catholic at that time was something of a social liability?”

This article is naive in my opinion with little understanding of the political impact of religion and nationalities. Perhaps he simply didn’t recognise Henry Kendall’s Irish ancestry of the implications of that.