Last Night [poem by Menie Parkes]

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

Last Night.

What, tell you of that night, Annie!
That blest and holy night, Annie!
My heart is beating fast;
I think there’s too much light, Annie;
I think the dream’s too bright, Annie;
Oh, will it, can it last?

’Twas but the day before, Annie,
That sad, dull day before, Annie —
I knelt and tried to pray;
I would have asked his love, Annie,
From love’s own God above, Annie,
But no word could I say.

Of prayer ’twas but the wraith, Annie,
It had no wings of faith, Annie —
A maimed and helpless thing!
No bitter tears did start, Annie,
But welling in my heart, Annie,
They made it Marah’s spring.

Last night the moon was grand, Annie,
I stood where now you stand, Annie,
And watched it— pensive, calm;
A voice behind me spoke, Annie;
His voice in music broke, Annie,
As if life still could charm,

He said the night was fair, Annie,
Tossed back his heat-damp hair, Annie,
And praised the starry skies:
How could I heed the night, Annie,
Or stars’ most radiant light, Annie?
I only saw his eyes.

We heard the curlew’s note, Annie,
In wailing music float, Annie,
Swelling from far to near;
He praised in poet’s way, Annie:—
What marvel if I say, Annie,
Their song I did not hear.

He bade me feel the wind, Annie,
A gentle, sea-born wind, Annie,
That fanned the orange trees;
His breath was on my brow, Annie,
As his low words did flow, Annie, —
How could I mind the breeze?

He said but little more, Annie,
Yet I that little store, Annie,
As he my faded flower;
I’ve told you much he said, Annie,
Perchance we shall be wed, Annie:—
I’ll tell you nothing more.

Menie Parkes, Poems, F. Cunninghame, Sydney, [1867], pages 86-87

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