One To Be Loved [poem by Menie Parkes]

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

One To Be Loved.

She was not lovely: beauty’s flush
Glowed not on her thin cheek;
And half a shadow on her brow
A tale of woe might speak.

Her voice was soft and low and firm,
Her words were few and mild;
Her smile was like the wondering glance
Of some excited child.

Her lips, compressed by self-control,
Witnessed her earnest thought,
Or, parted, spake sweet words her soul
With burning meaning fraught.

Her eyes were limpid as the rill
That flows in darkened nook,
And emblemed every passing mood
Like shadows in that brook.

They thought it strange that she should turn
From pleasure and from glee,
And look for graver, or her own
Pure, silent company.

They said she was too calm for love:
They guessed not she had known
By many an agonising start
Love’s healthiest, saddest tone.

But now, she had grown calm again;
The flood had ebbed at last,
And left to her the added grace
That sanctifies the past.

And free from passion, free from strife,
Each duty duly done,
Calm days of quiet, humble toil
Were all her suns shone on.

She thought the world a passing dream;
She loved her chastening rod;
And in the ray of Heaven’s love-gleam
She ever walked with God.

Menie Parkes, Poems, F. Cunninghame, Sydney, [1867], pages 12-13

[Editor: Corrected “Witnesseth” to “Witnessed”, with regard to the “Errata” corrections.]

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