Adelaide Anne Procter

Adelaide Anne Procter Poems

BEFORE I trust my fate to thee,
Or place my hand in thine,
Before I let thy future give
Color and form to mine,
...

2.

He was the first always: Fortune
Shone bright in his face.
I fought for years; with no effort
He conquered the place:
...

SEATED one day at the Organ,
I was weary and ill at ease,
And my fingers wandered idly
Over the noisy keys.
...

You have taken back the promise
That you spoke so long ago;
Taken back the heart you gave me-
I must even let it go.
...

WHERE are the swallows fled?
Frozen and dead,
Perchance, upon some bleak and stormy shore.
O doubting heart!
...

LOUD roared the tempest,
Fast fell the sleet;
A little Child Angel
Passed down the street,
...

I DO not ask, O Lord, that life may be
A pleasant road;
I do not ask that Thou wouldst take from me
Aught of its load;
...

One by one the sands are flowing,
One by one the moments fall:
Some are coming, some are going;
Do not strive to grasp them all.
...

My God, I thank Thee who hast made
The earth so bright;
So full of splendour and of joy,
Beauty and light;
...

Adelaide Anne Procter Biography

She was the eldest daughter of the poet Bryan Waller Procter ("Barry Cornwall") and Anne Benson Skepper. As a child Adelaide showed precocious intelligence. She attained considerable proficiency in French, German, and Italian, as well as in music and drawing, and she was a great reader. Brought up in surroundings favourable to the development of literary leanings, she began to write verses at an early age, and at eighteen contributed to the "Book of Beauty". In 1851, she and two of her sisters became Catholics without, apparently, any disturbance of the harmonious relations of the domestic circle. In 1853, under the pseudonym of "Mary Berwick", she sent to "Household Words" a short poem, which so pleased the editor, Charles Dickens that he not only accepted it but also invited further contributions. It was not till late in the following year that Dickens learned that his unknown correspondent was the daughter of his old friend, Barry Cornwall. To "Household Words" and "All the Year Round" nearly all her poetry was in the first instance contributed. In 1858-60 her poems were collected and published in two series under the title of "Legends and Lyrics". They had a great success, reaching the tenth edition in 1866. In that year a new issue, with introduction by Dickens, was printed, and there have been several reprints since. Miss Procter was of a charitable disposition: she visited the sick, befriended the destitute and home- less, taught the ignorant, and endeavored to raise up the fallen ones of her own sex. She was generous yet practical with the income derived from her works. In 1859 she served on a committee to consider fresh ways and means of providing employment for women; in 1861 she edited a miscellany, entitled "Victoria Regis", which had some of the leading litterateurs of the time as contributors and which was set up in type by women compositors; and in 1862 she published a slender volume of her own poems, "A Chaplet of Verses", mostly of a religious turn, for the benefit of the Providence Row night refuge for homeless women and children, which, as the first Catholic Refuge in the United Kingdom, had been opened on 7 October, 1860, and placed under the care of the Sisters of Mercy. In her charitable zeal she appears to have unduly taxed her strength, and her health, never robust, gave way under the strain. The cure at Malvern was tried in vain; and, after an illness of fifteen months, she died calmly, and was buried in Kensal Green Cemetery.)

The Best Poem Of Adelaide Anne Procter

A Woman’s Question

BEFORE I trust my fate to thee,
Or place my hand in thine,
Before I let thy future give
Color and form to mine,
Before I peril all for thee, question thy soul to-night for me.

I break all slighter bonds, nor feel
A shadow of regret:
Is there one link within the Past
That holds thy spirit yet?
Or is thy faith as clear and free as that which I can pledge to thee?

Does there within thy dimmest dreams
A possible future shine,
Wherein thy life could henceforth breathe,
Untouch’d, unshar’d by mine?
If so, at any pain or cost, O, tell me before all is lost.

Look deeper still. If thou canst feel,
Within thy inmost soul,
That thou hast kept a portion back,
While I have stak’d the whole;
Let no false pity spare the blow, but in true mercy tell me so.

Is there within thy heart a need
That mine cannot fulfil?
One chord that any other hand
Could better wake or still?
Speak now—lest at some future day my whole life wither and decay.

Lives there within thy nature hid
The demon-spirit Change,
Shedding a passing glory still
On all things new and strange?
It may not be thy fault alone—but shield my heart against thy own.

Couldst thou withdraw thy hand one day
And answer to my claim,
That Fate, and that to-day’s mistake—
Not thou—had been to blame?
Some soothe their conscience thus; but thou wilt surely warn and save me now.

Nay, answer not,—I dare not hear,
The words would come too late;
Yet I would spare thee all remorse,
So, comfort thee, my fate—
Whatever on my heart may fall—remember, I would risk it all!

Adelaide Anne Procter Comments

Darrell Smith 22 November 2020

Really enjoy her work and try to let others know of it by way of face book and of lending what I have to others.

0 0 Reply
Skip Morgan 19 December 2012

Hello! I enjoy your website very much. I wanted to notify you of an omission in the poem MY GOD, I THANK THEE THOU HAST MADE. The 4th line in the 3rd section should read That thorns remain If you read the poem, it is obvious that there is no proper rhyme in this section without this phrase. Thank you, Skip Morgan

1 2 Reply
Skip Morgan 19 December 2012

Hello! I enjoy your website very much. I wanted to notify you of an omission in the poem MY GOD, I THANK THEE THOU HAST MADE. The 4th line in the 3rd section should read That thorns remain If you read the poem, it is obvious that there is no proper rhyme in this section without this phrase. Thank you, Skip Morgan

1 2 Reply

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