[Editor: This poem by Philip Durham Lorimer was published in Songs and Verses by Philip Durham Lorimer: An Australian Bush Poet, 1901.]
Breaking the News
Tell softly to my burdened heart,
Thy sad, thy mournful news ;
Naught else but dregs of grief are mine —
The draught I’1l not refuse.
Unto my soul now gently lift
The cup of bitter woe ;
The days of life are darkened now
With grief — man’s deadly foe.
Oh yes ! thy tale is all too long —
Say it in fewer words ;
The band is iron — and cruel too —
Which all our misery girds.
Let darker shades be uppermost,
They hide all rays of gold ;
Let bitterness be still the first
Thy lispings would unfold.
O God ! ’tis true a burden
Has fall’n with heaviest weight ;
How long will the rod of affliction
Remain in the hand of Fate ?
Are there not eyes in Heaven ?
Is it true that Love can fail ?
Can my God, like His creature, leave me
Lone — in this shadowy vale ?
I see now a veiling arise,
And a Hand of Mercy there ;
And a voice is telling me kindly,
“All afflictions thou canst bear ;
For just when I see you lonely,
My strength will be thy might :
Trust Me and thy gloom and darkness
Shall be changed into glorious light.”
Ah ! there, in the vault of the blue,
I can see all my loved ones again ;
And the bitterest cup that I drank
Has given relief to my pain.
And lo ! by the side of my Saviour,
I can see a seat vacant for me ;
Do Thou take me, thou Great King of Glory —
And oh ! draw me still nigher to Thee.
E. A. Petherick (editor). Songs and Verses by Philip Durham Lorimer: An Australian Bush Poet, William Clowes and Sons, London, 1901, pages 128-129