You Passed Me By [poem by Menie Parkes]

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

You Passed Me By.

You passed me by, you passed me by,
A cold glance in your careless eye;
My smile was bright while in your sight; —
I hid my face and prayed to die!

But cruel Death clogged not my breath;
I felt life panting wildly on,
Knew I must tread, with haughty head,
A dreary path when you were gone.

The heart you scorned once wept and mourned,
But, wrapt in its purple woe around,
It proudly shall stand in its native land,
And its native song shall sound.

Oh, none shall know of the withering woe
That gives to my wild lyre so thrilling a flow;
That its bursts of song, pure, noble, and strong,
Are born of my agony none shall know.

They shall throne the low name on the summit of fame —
My name that your lips have made sweet —
Then my heart shall break, shall quietly break,
And cast down its fame at your feet.

I shall die, I shall die; yes, dearest, shall die,
And you will look on with a pitiful eye;
And when kind words you speak, my strained heart shall break,
— And flit through the light of your smile with a sigh.

What! you say I am wrong? that your love is as strong
As yonder stern rock, and lasteth as long?
You say if I go, and leave you below,
Your life will drag aimless and weary along?

To the winds with Fame! Dear, whisper my name!
Let lone hearts seek comfort in earth’s cold applause:
You will shelter me warm in your heart from all harm,
And I shall get wisdom in learning its laws.

Menie Parkes, Poems, F. Cunninghame, Sydney, [1867], pages 74-75

Editor’s notes:
wrapt = wrapped (to have enclosed or enveloped something, such as wrapping up an item with cloth or paper)

[Editor: Corrected “gave” to “gives”, with regard to the “Errata” corrections.]

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