To a Nurse

Original Text: 
The Complete Poetical Works of William Gay , ed. J. Glen Oliphant (Melbourne: Thomas C. Lothian, 1911): 121. Internet Archive. Sydney Electronic Text and Image Service (SETIS), digital text sponsored by AustLit:
2    As sunlight breaking o'er the August plain,
3As shines the Virgin on the midnight hours,
4    So is thy presence at the bed of pain;
5And as the flowers revive to bloom more fair,
7And midnight hours to morn at last repair,
8    So hope and life thy minist'rings inspire;
9And though for me there's but the life and hope
10    That lie abundant past the gates of Death,
11Yet thither as with feeble steps I grope
12    Thy friendly arm assists my failing breath;
13Nor will I deem of Providence the worse
14Who sent me pain to send me thee for nurse.


1] Gay spent his last years, after 1893, "mainly confined to bed, living in a cottage hospital kept by the Misses Sampson. For a short time he was engaged to one of the sisters, Mary Elizabeth" (Joseph Jones, "Gay, William (1865-1897)," Australian Dictionary of Biography 8 [Melbourne University Press, 1981]: 633-34). Back to Line
6] wattles: Australian trees of the genus Acacia with yellow flowers. Back to Line
RPO poem Editors: 
Ian Lancashire
RPO Edition: