Travelling in a Circle [poem by Menie Parkes]

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

Travelling in a Circle.

My heart was sleeping, sleeping soundly,
Untouched by any pain;
When God called me, called me loudly,
Called and called again.

It awakened: could it other?
Fell down at His feet,
Yielded, and, with throbbing gladness,
Thought the sacrifice complete.

Thought that never voice could murmur
Any tones so sweet,
As to draw it from its happy
Station at His feet.

Oh, it thought the Master’s love,
The Master’s grace and word,
The dearest and the strongest powers
That e’er heart’s feelings stirred.

Whatever sins had bruised that heart,
That sleeping heart of mine,
When it had bathed in Jesu’s blood,
It only woke to shine.

It lifted up its fearless face,
And all its eager thanks
Were cast before the throne of Love,
Amid the angel ranks.

Its restless powers were fluttering,
And anxious to be used;
Its beating blood was double-red,
To see God’s love abused.

“The years have passed; your heart must boast
Some holy conquests now!
It must have wrought some noble deeds,
To seal that early vow.”

To-night my heart is lying still,
Gashed, gored, and bruised by sin;
It bears the rust of Satan’s chain,
His seal, without, within.

The God of grace, in tones of love,
That Satan’s self might move,
Is calling it to soar above,
And yet it does not move.

Its stagnant flood of sluggish life
Clogs heavily and slow;
It could not breathe in Heaven’s keen air,
If it could rise and go.

Thou never canst be wholly free,
Till Heaven itself thou win:—
Oh, stricken heart, alas for thee!
Such wages getteth sin.



Source:
Menie Parkes, Poems, F. Cunninghame, Sydney, [1867], pages 92-93

Editor’s notes:
Jesu = (archaic) an alternative poetic spelling of “Jesus”

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