Remorse by Henry Parkes

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Oh! teach me to forget the home,
   The blessed home that once was mine;
Ere thou, vain trifler! bid'st me come,
   A slave, the worst of slaves, to thine.

Nor this as guilt's perverseness blame;
   Although my bitter choice be still
To reap the harvest of my shame,
   A self abandoned thing of ill!

To live in sin, untasked to smile
   On all its hateful misery,
Is better sure than contract vile
   To serve a heartless wretch like thee.

I would not it should seem that one,
   So low, so lost as I am now,
Could rest mid ruin's dark work done,
   Nor feel the serpent on my brow!

Go, breathe thy words in empty air:
   Believe not woman's shuddering soul,
Still goaded on by crime's despair,
   E'er sought in vice a happy goal!

First published in The Australasian Chronicle, 28 October 1841;
and later in
Stolen Moments: A Short Series of Poems by Henry Parkes, 1842.

Author reference sites: Austlit, Australian Dictionary of Biography, Australian Poetry Library

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This page contains a single entry by Perry Middlemiss published on October 28, 2012 8:51 AM.

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