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.

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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