Poems of James Hebblethwaite
James Hebblethwaite (poet)
The Symbol

Thus pass the glories of the world! 
He lies beneath the pall’s white folds: 
His sword is sheathed, his pennon furled, 
Him silence holds. 

The pilgrim staff, the cockle shell,
The crown, the sceptre of his pride, 
The simple flower from forest dell, 
Heap at his side. 

And add thereto the wild-heart lute 
The voice of love and twilight song;
Those passioned strings though he is mute 
Remember long. 

And move not thence his evening book, 
The sifted grains of calm and storm; 
And bow before that dust-strewn nook
And silent form. 

To-morrow hath no hope for him, 
No clasp of friend, no grip of foe: 
Remember, love, with eyes tear-dim, 
We too must go.


The sea coast of Bohemia 
Is pleasant to the view 
When singing larks spring from the grass 
To fade into the blue, 
And all the hawthorn hedges break
In wreaths of purest snow, 
And yellow daffodils are out, 
And roses half in blow. 

The sea-coast of Bohemia 
Is sad as sad can be,
The prince has ta’en our flower of maids 
Across the violet sea; 
Our Perdita has gone with him, 
No more we dance the round 
Upon the green in joyous play,
Or wake the tabor’s sound. 

The sea-coast of Bohemia 
Has many wonders seen, 
The shepherd lass wed with a king, 
The shepherd with a queen;
But such a wonder as my love 
Was never seen before, 
It is my joy and sorrow now 
To love her evermore. 

The sea-coast of Bohemia
Is haunted by a light 
Of memory fair of lady’s eyes, 
And fame of gallant knight; 
The princes seek its charmèd strand, 
But ah, it was our knell
When o’er the sea our Perdita 
Went with young Florizel. 

The sea-coast of Bohemia 
Is not my resting-place, 
For with her waned from out the day
A beauty and a grace: 
O had I kissed her on the lips 
I would no longer weep, 
But live by that until the day 
I fall to shade and sleep.


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Biographical Details for
James HEBBLETHWAITE (1857-1921).

22 September 1857; Born at Preston, Lancashire to William and Margaret Hebblethwaite.

1861: Listed on Census, aged 3. Living at 8 River Street, Preston, with parents, sisters Margaret (13), Ellen (11), and Phyllis (7), and grandfather William Hebblethwaite Snr (66).

1872: Pupil Teacher, Christchurch School, Preston.

1877: Scholarship to St John’s Training College, Battersea.

1879: Headmaster of a small private school, Padiham, Lancashire.(16 months).

1880: Successfully chosen from 80 applicants to be Headmaster of St Marks School, Preston.  Held this post for 10 years.

1881: Listed on Census, aged 23, unmarried and living with unmarried sister, Margaret (33), at 9 Waterloo Terrace, Lea Ashton Ingol & Cottam, Lancashire.

????: Lectured in English Literature at the Harris Institute.

18 October 1895 : Moved to Hobart, Tasmania on board the S.S. Rimutaka, aged 33. Decision to move based on ill health and was intended to be temporary, however he took a liking to the place and decided to stay.

1891-1894: Teacher of English and Physical Education, Friends High School, North Hobart.

???? : Teacher at a school in the Barracks, Hobart run by W.H. Buckland.

1895: Castle Hill: or a tale of two hemispheres published in London by Allenson. This novel also contained some of his poems.

22 April 1895: Married Mary Browne. No Children resulted from this marriage.

1896: A collection of poems, Verse, printed by the Hobart Mercury.

1898: He entered the congregational ministery.

????: Head Master of Queens College, Latrobe. A small private school.

1900: Rose of Regret printed by the Bulletin Newspaper.

1902: Left the Congregational Church and took up with the Anglican Church.

1903 to 1905: Stationed at the Holy Trinity Church in Hobart.

1904: Rose of Regret reprinted in the Anthology, A Southern Garland

????: Appointed Rector of George Town

1909: His wife, Mary, dies. At this time he was appointed Vicar of the Channel Parish, which was based at Woodridge. He continued writing during this time, contributing to several national magazines

1911: Meadow and Bush: a book of verse published by the Sydney Bookfellow magazine.

20 April 1914: Marries Lucy Mabel Turner, daughter of Dr Charles Turner.

1916: Birth of their son, Charles Hugh. He also retired from the ministry due to ill health, but continued to live at the Woodbridge Rectory.

1920: The Poems of James Hebblethwaite published in Melbourne

1921: A supplementary to this was published titled New Poems of James Hebblethwaite. This included three poems which have been reprinted often, Merrymind, Perdita and Wanderers,for which he is best remembered.

13 September 1921: Died of cancer at Hobart.


Merrymind, Merrymind, whither art thou roaming?
    Merrymind, Merrymind, nay, art thou sleeping yet?
Oh, to us, sweet minstrel dear, wilt thou not be homing?
    Or we shall forget. 
Vale of toil so waste and drear, hear him now advancing,
    Playing on the golden strings, the midnight maiden’s boon;
Breaks the sunshine on the hills, the princess falls to dancing
    In a bridal noon! 

Oh, the joyfulness and kissing of that fiddle’s flowings,
    Giving rest and happiness, and laughter delicate!
Fling out from this iron world to his merry bowings,
    Oh, be not too late! 

Lancelot, Lancelot, ride with song and gleaming
    Robin, wind in greenwood shaw thy dreaming silvery horn,
Rapunzel, Rapunzel, let down thy hair a-beaming,
    Yellow as the corn! 

Pride, begone, thou hateful curse of narrowed blood and breeding,
    Cruel growth of heaviness and dull, cold ignorance;
Come, thou golden Charity, lend to us thy leading
    In a sunny dance! 

James Hebblethwaite

Biographical notes supplied by Christopher Hebblethwaite, Brisbane, Qld Australia
Additional material from Lancashire Records Office, Preston

Poems reproduced from The Oxford Book of Australasian Verse, 1918,
selected by Walter Murdoch (1874–1970).
Further information on this book can be found at the Bartleby Books site: http://www.bartleby.com/249/

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