What the World Was Made For [poem by Menie Parkes]

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

What the World Was Made For.

This world was made for loving,
And not for endless woe!
If grief you still are proving,
Why force your pleasures go?
Oh, take them both together,
And calmly let them come;
They’ll pass like April weather,
And bring a May-day home.

This world was made for living,
And not for crawling through:
A strange return you’re giving
To God — ye drawling crew!
Be up, if you’re his creatures,
Be up with brisker tread;
They nobly limn His features
Who toil for daily bread.

This world was made for dying —
Thank God, not endless life! —
For fain we would be flying
Above its care and strife.
But, oh, there’s an accounting
For use of talents given;
Woe, woe, if, ’stead of mounting,
We sink and lose our right to Heaven!

Menie Parkes, Poems, F. Cunninghame, Sydney, [1867], pages 68

Editor’s notes:
fain = happily or gladly; ready or willing; obliged or compelled

limn = to draw or paint on a surface; or to outline in clear sharp detail; or describe (from Middle English “limnen” to illuminate, with regard to manuscripts, possibly derived from the Latin “illuminare”)

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