Frances Anne Kemble

(27 November 1809 - 15 January 1893 / London, England)

An Invocation - Poem by Frances Anne Kemble

Spirit, bright spirit! from thy narrow cell
Answer me! answer me! oh, let me hear
Thy voice, and know that thou indeed art near!
That from the bonds in which thou'rt forced to dwell
Thou hast not broken free, thou art not fled,
Thou hast not pined away, thou art not dead.
Speak to me through thy prison bars; my life,
With all things round, is one eternal strife,
'Mid whose wild din I pause to hear thy voice;
Speak to me, look on me, thou born of light!
That I may know thou'rt with me, and rejoice.
Shall not this weary warfare pass away?
Shall there not come a better, brighter day?
Shall not thy chain and mine be broken quite?
And thou to heaven spring,
With thine immortal wing,
And I, still following,
With steps that do not tire,
Reach my desire,
And to thy worship bring
Some worthy offering.

Oh, let but these dark days be once gone by,
And thou, unwilling captive, that dost strain,
With tiptoe longing, vainly, towards the sky,
O'er the whole kingdom of my life shalt reign.
But, while I'm doomed beneath the yoke to bow,
Of sordid toiling in these caverns drear,
Oh, look upon me sometimes with thy brow
Of shining brightness; sometimes let me hear
Thy blessed voice, singing the songs of heaven,
Whence thou and I, together, have been driven;
Give me assurance that thou still art nigh,
Lest I sink down beneath my load, and die.

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Poem Submitted: Monday, September 6, 2010

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