The Hectic To Her Nurse [poem by Charles Harpur, 22 May 1835]

[Editor: A poem by Charles Harpur.]

The Hectic To Her Nurse.

And is it true that he hath ta’en
Another to that breast ?
On which so late, my cheek hath lain,
My trusting heart hath prest !
Was it because my native vale
And parents arms for him
I left? — or that my cheek is pale,
Or that my eye is dim ?

He should have thought that once that eye
Was praised in many a song,
When he woo’d me, ’neath my native sky
The fairest of the young !
And if it now less bright appear,
Less glow with kind desire,
That but for him the bitter tear
Had fed not on its fire.

I wept them not because I’d left
The path of early fame,
By him seduced, or was bereft
Of pride, and dower’d with shame;
Oh no ! with him I could have strove
O’er all such kind of ill
Had such been all, and for his love,
Have send’d a triumph, still.

But I my sister once did meet
Since from my home I fled,
She cross’d before me in the street
And passing onward said,
“Des’late is now thy childhoods home
Frail one thou’st play’d a part,
That dragged thy father to the tomb
That broke my mother’s heart.”
I never saw my sister more
And years have past away,
But still her words with ocean roar
Ring near me night and day!
But is it true that he hath ta’en
Another to that breast ?
On which so late my cheek hath lain
My trusting heart hath prest !

He knows that I am dying, knew
That lasting at the most
A few short months of kindness now
Would lodge me with the lost,
Ah! surely the destroying scathe
Had worn a kinder stamp,
Had he waited, at my torch of death
To light his bridal lamp.
From this sick bed let me start !
I’ll press it ne’er again !
A strength’ning fire is in my heart
A madnes in my brain !
A stranger in a foreign land
Beneath you stormy sky,
A wild wild prayer to heaven I’ll send
And wander ’till I die.

C. Harpur.

The Australian (Sydney, NSW), Friday 22 May 1835, page 4

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