Frances Anne Kemble
Lines - Poem by Frances Anne Kemble
Upon the altar of my life there lies
A costly offering: its price I know;
The worth that it might have, its power and beauty;
Yet it lies there, and darkness covers it.
It has not burned towards heaven in holy flames,
Worshipping God, warming and lighting man;
No fire has quickened it.—Love, like a torch
Quenched in foul mist, passed over it in vain:
A flickering ray of pale uncertain happiness
Played round it once, too weak to kindle it.
Strike, strike then now, ye lightning fires of sorrow!
Devouring flames! ye that have all consumed
Love, Hope, and Happiness, do your whole work!
Light up the gifts that lie on my life's altar,
Kindle the precious sacrifice my soul
Has heaped in vain: so shall it burn towards heaven,
And glorify the Giver of all gifts,
The Sender of all earthly destinies.
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