The Maiden’s Death-Song [poem by Menie Parkes]

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

The Maiden’s Death-Song.

Death stood at the maiden’s bedside,
And listened the while she sang —
“The sunniest hope of my being
I render, without a pang;
I yield up the hope of dying,
And turn me again to life;
I snatch back the breaths that are flying,
And return to the wild world’s strife.
I yield; for the Lord who hath made me
Doth know both me and my needs,
And His presence I claim to aid me
While tedious time recedes.
I yield; for He will be with me,
And Life will soon pass away;—
Tho’ the sleepless night seems endless,
It breaketh at last in day.

I turn from my soft dreams of resting,
And rise to the work at my hand,
And sorrows and sins all breasting,
I tread thro’ the stranger’s land.”
So sang the maiden, half-sighing;
Death smiled in his own quiet way,
Then breathed on her lips, and her soul, outflying,
Went up at the dawning of day.

Menie Parkes, Poems, F. Cunninghame, Sydney, [1867], pages 55-56

[Editor: Corrected “breatheth” to “breaketh”, with regard to the “Errata” corrections.]

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