Frances Anne Kemble

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

Lines. - Poem by Frances Anne Kemble

And I
Am reading, too, my book of memory:
With eyelids closed, over the crested foam,
And the blue, marbled sea, I seek my home.
All present things forgotten, on the shore
Of the romantic Forth I stand once more;
Once more I hear the waves' harmonious strife;
Once more, upon the mountain coast of Fife,
I see the checker'd lights and shadows fall.
Upon the sand crumbles the ruin'd wall
That guards no more the desolate demesne,
And the deserted mansion. High between
The summer clouds the Ochil hills arise;
And far, far, like a shadow in the skies,
Ben Lomond tow'rs aloft in sovereign height.
O Cramond beach! are thy sands still as bright—
Thy waters still as sunny,—thy wild shore
As lonely and as lovely as of yore?—
Haunts of my happy time! as wandering back
Along my life, on memory's faithful track,
How fair ye seem,—how fair, how dear ye are!
Ye need not to be gazed at from afar;
Deceptive distance lends no brighter hue;
Your beauty and your peacefulness were true.
Not yours the charms from which we wearied stray,
And own them only when they're far away.
Oh, be ye blest for all the happiness
Which I have known in your wild loneliness.
Old sea, whose voice yet chimes upon my ear,—
Old paths, whose every winding step was dear,—
Dark, rocky promontories,—echoing caves,
Worn hollow by the white feet of the waves,—
Blue, lake-like waters,—legend-haunted isle,
Over ye all bright be the summer's smile;
And gently fall the winter on your breast,
Haunts of my youth, my memory's place of rest.

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Poem Submitted: Monday, September 6, 2010

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