Love's Interpreter by Clarinda Parkes

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In silence I had loved her long:
   In silence for my words were weak,
   And any prayer that I might speak
Had only done my passion wrong.

Till, as it chanced upon a day,
   Under the spreading garden limes,
   I read to her the burning rhymes
Of Love's own poet past away.

And, lo! the might of my desire
   Made his high minstrelsy my own,
   And breathed in every word and tone
The lover's not the poet's fire.

His eloquence grew mine -- nay, more,
   Taught by his pure imagining,
   My love became an altered thing,   
Holier and deeper than before.      

Then, as I laid the volume by  
   And turned to meet her eyes with mine,   
   I caught the long unhoped-for shine
Of love's light dawning in their sky.

So won I that sweet prize of her;
   The voice of the immortal dead
   Had pleaded for me as I read,
And been my love's interpreter.

First published
in The Australian Town and Country Journal, 28 December 1895

Author: Clarinda Sarah Parkes (1839-1915) was the eldest child of Henry Parkes and his wife Clarinda. She started writing poetry in her teens and also completed 6 novels during her writing career.  She had some success with her writing during her lifetime but little is known of it now.  She died in Ashfield, New South Wales, in 1915.

Author reference site: Austlit

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This page contains a single entry by Perry Middlemiss published on December 28, 2011 8:38 AM.

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