Christ of Calvary [poem by Menie Parkes]

[Editor: This poem by Menie Parkes was published in Poems (1867).]

Christ of Calvary.

Some smiles are soft as sleeping babe’s,
Or sunrise softening in the east,
Or thrilling breeze at sultry noon,
Or fresh flowers at a marriage feast;
But one there is that stills my smile,
And drowns me in its ecstasy;
And that for me, oh, that for me —
The smile of Christ of Calvary.

Some loves there are that touch my brain,
And shake its dreams like shedding leaves;
And some that steal into my heart,
Like burning heat through summer sheaves;
But one there is that breaks away
Into my soul, altho’ I flee;
And that for me, oh, that for me —
The love of Christ of Calvary.

Can I resist an infant’s cry?
Or pause and hear my mother call?
Or father speak, and not reply? —
There’s one I hear before them all;
One low, sweet voice that falls so clear,
My feet must swift to answer be;
And that for me, oh, that for me —
The call of Christ of Calvary.

Earth’s crosses seem too hard to bear,
They drag upon my shrinking frame,
And I have fallen in the dust,
Nor cared to rise for praise or shame;
But one cross hath a wondrous power —
When heaviest I walk most free;
And that for me, oh, that for me —
The cross of Christ of Calvary.

Some crowns are very hard to wear:
One cuts its sharp mark on my head,
And one is cold and wanting scent,
And one its withered leaves does shed;
But mine’s as soft as spring’s first buds
Of violets from the lea;
His who bore thorns and stripes for me —
The crown of Christ of Calvary.



Source:
Menie Parkes, Poems, F. Cunninghame, Sydney, [1867], pages 97-98

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