yConvict Once : A PoemConvict Oncei
"I, Hyacinth, of whom she wrote, now write:",
J. Brunton Stephens,
London:Macmillan,1871Z1975611871single work poetry E. Morris Miller and Frederick T. Macartney's Australian Literature : a Bibliography to 1938 : Extended to 1950 (1956): describes the work as 'a narrative told in the first person by a beautiful and intelligent woman, who, released after serving a sentence of seven years for a felony, assumes the name of Magdalen Power, and becomes governess to a squatter's three daughters ... Her acceptance of this discreet and calm life soon gives way to recognition that she 'was not moulded for peace, or the dreamless repose of assurance'. Mingled vanity, resentment and passion cause her to contrive the separation of Hyacinth from her lover and to win him for herself. The mother of the girls dies, and Magdalen ponders the mystery ... Brooding over her treachery, she imagines that perhaps the mother's spirit exists with knowledge of the wrong Magdalen has done to her daughter. The exploring sensitivity of her mind drives her to the thought of expiation in suicide. She goes out into a storm and is struck down by a falling tree. She is taken back to the homestead, and there is a rather contrived reunion of Hyacinth and her lover before Magdalen dies repentant' (445).