Cold too cold doth burn like fire,
Sweets too sweet become our bane,
Truth too true is half a liar,
Joy too great turns into pain.
Lights intensely light but blind us,
Eloquent deep silence grows,
Every good that life can find us
At its zenith zero shows.
Yet this law hath compensation
That the dreaming spirit feels,
Who can gauge the exaltation
Pain superlative reveals?
Souls are harps where master fingers
Music find in every string,
Harmony, half silent, lingers
Till her sadness makes her sing.
Then her melting cry will thrill you
With the pathos of its tone,
Then entrance your ear, until you
Sorrow’s inspiration own.
Strange and subtle, to reveal it,
Words are poor and harsh and brief
Only such as know and feel it
Can believe the joy of grief.
Agnes L. Storrie. Poems, J. W. Kettlewell, Sydney, 1909, pages 118-119