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Felicia Dorothea Hemans

(25 September 1793 – 16 May 1835 / Liverpool, England)

Lines, Written In The Memory Of Elizabeth Smith


OH, thou! whose pure, exalted mind
Lives in this record, fair and bright;
Oh, thou! whose blameless life combin'd
Soft female charms and grace refin'd
With science and with light!
Celestial maid! whose spirit soar'd
Beyond this vale of tears;
Whose clear, enlighten'd eye explor'd
The lore of years!

Daughter of heav'n! if here, e'en here,
The wing of tow'ring thought was thine;
If, on this dim and mundane sphere,
Fair truth illum'd thy bright career,
With morning-star divine;

How must thy blest, ethereal soul,
Now kindle in her noon-tide ray;
And hail, unfetter'd by control,
The fount of day!

E'en now, perhaps, thy seraph-eyes,
Undimm'd by doubt, nor veil'd by fear,
Behold a chain of wonders rise;
Gaze on the noon-beam of the skies,
Transcendent, pure and clear!
E'en now the fair, the good, the true,
From mortal sight conceal'd,
Bless in one blaze thy raptur'd view,
In light reveal'd!

If here, the lore of distant time,
And learning's flow'rs were all thine own;
How must thy mind ascend, sublime,
Matur'd in heav'n's empyreal clime,
To light's unclouded throne!

Perhaps, e'en now, thy kindling glance,
Each orb of living fire explores;
Darts o'er creation's wide expanse,
Admires—adores!

Oh! if that lightning-eye surveys
This dark and sublunary plain;
How must the wreath of human praise,
Fade, wither, vanish, in thy gaze,
So dim, so pale, so vain!

How, like a faint and shadowy dream,
Must quiver learning's brightest ray;
While on thine eyes, with lucid stream,
The sun of glory pours his beam,
Perfection's day!

Submitted: Thursday, April 08, 2010

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