Cast Adrift [poem by Menie Parkes]

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

Cast Adrift.

A little lonely boat
On the wild waves afloat;
Never a sail in sight,
Day darkening into night,
Stormy and wild!

So tossed my soul adrift,
High on sin’s waves uplift;
Vainly I sought for aid,
Loudly earth’s billows played
Round me in wrath.

Hoarsely the deep seas moan,
Roughly the wild winds groan;
Cold clogs the sailor’s heart,
“Oh, God, from earth to part,
And from the loving!”

So saw I horrors round,
So heard I terrors sound;
Helpless I lay and wept,
Deeming all succour slept,
While waked destruction.

Lo! on the orient verge!
Is it the breaker’s surge?
Nay, but a coming sail:
God, shall their senses fail,
Mad with new hope!

So thro’ my dark despair
What gleaming light is there?
Standeth a Cross that bears
Him that can cure all cares
In that He died.

Hark! to the thankful cry!
Mark you the upturned eye!
Snatched from an ocean-grave,
Now their first tear-drops lave
Out all their sorrows!

So I, with hope on high,
Cling to the Cross for aye:
So doth my worship rise,
Swelling to reach the skies,
And thank the Saviour.

Menie Parkes, Poems, F. Cunninghame, Sydney, [1867], pages 65-66

Editor’s notes:
aye = always, forever

lave = to lap up against or wash up against

Saviour = in a religious context, Jesus or God

standeth = archaic form of “stands”

succour = assistance, help, or support, particularly in a time of distress or difficulty (also spelt “succor”)

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