Good out of Evil [poem by Menie Parkes]

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

Good out of Evil.

Trouble lies heavy on my heart;
And my worn brain does heave and start,
Anticipating woe.
The future — indistinctly grim —
Seems sorrow, laden to the brim —
Will’t overflow?

By thought and loneliness opprest,
I see no hope of love and rest,
Or fitting toil;
And, far too sad earth’s smiles to wear,
I find I stand alone to bear
Life’s stern turmoil.

I find this careless outer life,
This cold stand-off from Man’s strange strife,
Doth only hide
The fiery wars, whose ceaseless rage
Against Man’s God, my heart doth wage
In sin and pride.

And, sickening worse for sin than grief,
I almost seem to take relief,
Till, heaping sin,
To wash the blackened record out,
I fly from sin and woe to doubt,
And anguish win.

But, far away, beyond the years,
I see a land where fears and tears
Shall have no place:
Oh, Christ, forgive the trembling thought
That turned from love thy blood had bought,
And spurned thy grace.

Now see me cast my sin and care
Down at thy feet, and, falling there,
Entreat that grace;
Grant thou what Peter’s heart o’ertook,
The loving lightning of one look
From thy sad face.

Then — weeping perhaps — but even so
Not sad to drench the path I go,
Life shall be sweet:
Oh, what though sorrow’s weary heap
Still makes it hard to climb that steep?
God guides my feet!

Menie Parkes, Poems, F. Cunninghame, Sydney, [1867], pages 7-8

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