Sorrow for Sin [poem by Menie Parkes]

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

Sorrow for Sin.

Oh, guilt is a parasite flower
That grows on my blighted life-tree;
And those dank, heavy fruits on the tree
Are guilt’s strong, brackish clusters of sorrow.

Lone is my heart, and heavy,
Hung with the black fruits of sorrow,
The bitter black grapes of sorrow, —
Lone! lone! lone!
Bound down with the vine-swathes of sorrow.

Dim is my heart, and stolid,
Thick with the wild juice of sorrow,
Aching with draughts of sorrow,
Dark and distraught and doubtful,
Brimmed over with sorrow!

Oh, the seeds of this wild grape are ripening,
And will fall in my heart ere while,
Again in guilt’s blossoms to smile,
And fruit into bitter black sorrow!

Talk not to me of comfort!
Seek not to stay my weeping,
Leave me — sad silence keeping —
Alone! alone! alone!
Alone with my dream of sorrow.

Tears! can they wash out the vine-roots?
Rank is its verdure, but strong, strong are tears!
Alas! they but water the wild growth of years!
Alone! alone! alone!
I am crushed with this sorrow.

There must be an end to it all yet!
God will tear out this brave weed of sorrow!
It shall not all life from his good tree borrow!
Alone! alone! alone!
I wait for the death-day of sorrow!

Menie Parkes, Poems, F. Cunninghame, Sydney, [1867], pages 34-35

Editor’s notes:
stolid = impassive, showing little or no emotion

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