The Whirl of Life [poem by Menie Parkes]

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

The Whirl of Life.

In all this weary whirl of life;
When waves of ruthless sorrow flow,
When breathlessly I meet the strife
And brace me for a conquering blow;
When, looming down,
The clouds shall frown,
Then, oh, my God, my God be with me!
When joys are flown,
And sorrows strown,
God of the hapless, God be with me!

And if the world, grown tired of crushing,
Should stretch soft arms and lap me round,
And, all my fearful doubtings hushing,
Should warble me some true love’s sound;
Oh, in the light
Of such strange delight,
Then, oh, my God, my God be with me,
And watch o’er my joy,
Lest it haply should cloy, —
God of all gladness, God be with me!

And when the rushing hours shall bring
Sooner or late, the day of death;
When to this earth frail feelings cling,
And two lives strive to catch each breath:
When awed I shrink
From Lethe’s brink,
Then, oh, my God, my God be with me,
And bear me through,
Till, Heaven in view,
I shout to angels — God was with me!

Menie Parkes, Poems, F. Cunninghame, Sydney, [1867], pages 69

Editor’s notes:
haply = by accident, chance, or luck

Lethe = alcoholic drink; in Greek mythology, Lethe was the river of forgetfulness, one of the five rivers in Hades; Lethe can refer to a condition of forgetfulness or oblivion

strown = archaic variation of “strewn”

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