Hymn [poem by Menie Parkes]

[Editor: This poem by Menie Parkes was published in Poems (1867). This was one of three poems entitled “Hymn” that appeared in the book.]


None may, none can the Heavens approach,
Who hath not washed the strong reproach
Of sin, that may not there encroach,
From off his soul.

Tho’ day speeds hurrying swiftly by,
Its sin might roll, ascending high,
And blot out yon sun-brightened sky
To one fell gloom.

No night, in all its soft white light,
Or darkness, rest, and dreamings bright,
But still is saddened by the blight
Of deadly sin.

No long, long life of grief and pain
Might blot out only one sin-stain;
My God, my God, can man attain
Thy perfect bliss?

’Tis anguish prompts that hurried word,
Not fear of Thee, my Lord, my Lord!
I’d bow me to th’ avenging sword
In smiling trust.

If but its stroke might shear away
The guilt that makes my soul its prey,
And leave it fair and clear as day
Beneath Thine eye.

If this might be — oh, raise Thy rod!
Chasten my soul, my God, my God,
From now, till, passing ’neath the sod,
I see Thy face.

My sin, my sin! It bows me down;
I dare not meet Thine angry frown;
Oh, God of Love, look down, look down,
And look in love!

Thy Promise, Lord! Thy Ransom, Lord;
The Lamb, Thy Son, the Living Word!
I hold Him, like the prophet’s gourd,
Above my head.

Menie Parkes, Poems, F. Cunninghame, Sydney, [1867], pages 84-85

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