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A Girl's Grave

Patrick Edward Quinn 1862 (Darlinghurst) – 1926 (Manly)

"Aged 17, OF A BROKEN HEART, January 1st, 1841."

What story is here of broken love,
  What idyllic sad romance,
What arrow fretted the silken dove
  That met with such grim mischance?

I picture you, sleeper of long ago,
  When you trifled and danced and smiled,
All golden laughter and beauty's glow
  In a girl life sweet and wild.

Hair with the red gold's luring tinge,
  Fine as the finest silk,
Violet eyes with a golden fringe
  And cheeks of roses and milk.

Something of this you must have been,
  Something gentle and sweet,
To have broken your heart at seventeen
  And died in such sad defeat.

Hardly one of your kinsfolk live,
  It was all so long ago,
The tale of the cruel love to give
  That laid you here so low.

Loving, trusting, and foully paid --
  The story is easily guessed,
A blotted sun and skies that fade
  And this grass-grown grave the rest.

Whatever the cynic may sourly say,
  With a dash of truth, I ween,
Of the girls of the period, in your day
  They had hearts at seventeen.

Dead of a fashion out of date,
  Such folly has passed away
Like the hoop and patch and modish gait
  That went out with an older day.

The stone is battered and all awry,
  The words can be scarcely read,
The rank reeds clustering thick and high
  Over your buried head.

I pluck one straight as a Paynim's lance
  To keep your memory green,
For the lordly sake of old Romance
  And your own, sad seventeen.

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

1:19 min read

Patrick Edward Quinn

Patrick Edward Quinn was an Australian politician. Born in Darlinghurst to postal officer Edward Quinn and Catherine McCarty, he attended Marist Brothers School and Fort Street Public School in Sydney. more…

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