The Poet’s Death [poem by Menie Parkes]

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

The Poet’s Death.

Sorrow had chilled his heart, and he stood
Alone, ’midst the busy crowd,
And mournfully looked for a friendly smile;—
Lo! death, and he bare a shroud.

“I am the friend you seek,” he cried.
“Welcome!” the poet, glad, replied,
“Men have tried on my spirit their strong power of chilling,
And I feel that the life-blood no longer is filling
My heart.
I will throw off the band
That has bound me; my swift feet shall stand
In Eden’s bright land, my strong voice shall rise
Exalting and praising my God in the skies.

Then, welcome death!
Lay thy clay-cold hand
On my brain and my breath!
Oh, welcome, Death.

Earth, farewell! all have used me hard,
But the lovely flowers and the soft green sward;
And I smile as I glance at the heavens above
That cover and hide the bright mansions above.
I thank thee, Jehovah! the struggle is o’er!
To this dark, dark world I’ll not turn evermore.

What a melody rings
In the depth of my being!
What a glory of all immortal things
My spirit is seeing!
What a coolness it brings
To soften the heart, and quiet the brain
That were maddened almost by adversity’s reign!

Farewell, farewell;
To the flower and the forest,
The brook and the dell,
Farewell, oh, farewell!”

He smiled and sank, and smiling, died,
And an angel of glory fled by his side.



Source:
Menie Parkes, Poems, F. Cunninghame, Sydney, [1867], pages 83-84

Editor’s notes:
Jehovah = the name of God, as mentioned in the Bible

sward = a lawn or meadow; land covered with grass

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