The Answer by M. Burkinshaw (Mabel Forrest)

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I called her once, heart-proud with youth's hot wine,
Deeming that but to call must make her mine,
Seeing responsive eyes in Fancy shine --
            I called her once.

But never answer gave she, sad or gay;
Only a silence o'er the untrod way,
Only a distance widening day by day.

I called her once, angry with Life's defeat,
Feeling forgiving eyes would be so sweet,
Ready to lay my failures at her feet ---   
            I called her once.

But only chiding gave she scornfully,
"Arise! and make the world take heed of thee,
And when triumphant then return to me."

I called her once; a whisper and a sigh,
"A prayer she must not hear" --- so faltered I;
"Yet my fond heart will call her ere I die!"   

            I called her once,
And what an answer gave she back to me!   
Ah! there was glory on the earth and sea,
And hands and lips that hovered tenderly!  

First published in The Queenslander, 13 August 1898

Author reference sites: Austlit, Australian Dictionary of Biography

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This page contains a single entry by Perry Middlemiss published on August 13, 2012 9:00 AM.

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