Frances Anne Kemble

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

The Fellowship Of Genius - Poem by Frances Anne Kemble

O hearts of flesh! O beating hearts of love!
O twining hands of human dear desire!—
How, when your glorious mate begins to move,
How shall ye follow those wide wings of fire
That bear him up? Ah! to the chariot wheels,
That wrap the child of genius to the sky,
Breathless ye cling till round the great world reels,
And ye fall fainting down despairingly!
Bleeding and blind ye fall, and still his flight,
Serene and strong, is upward to the light,
Nearer the sun and farther yet from ye,
Kindred alone of his mortality.
Awhile he stood beside ye, and awhile
His tender eyes, and lovely loving smile,
Made you believe he was indeed your brother:
But deep within that being lay another
Fearful as fair, no simple son of earth,
Of all created things the wondrous birth;
Immortal, Infinite, born to inherit
Matter, and mind, and sense, and subtlest spirit.
Lo! ye have called this King of all creation
Your fellow, and forgot the heaven-high station
Whence he must gather his great revenue:
Past, Present, Future, all things old and new,
All things in earth and heaven to him belong;
And in the pæans of his conquering song
Love is but one sweet chord, one single verse,
In the great chorus of the universe;
Which, with a voice resounding and sublime,
He utters forth unto all space and time.
O piteous, precious, hapless, human love!
Thou shalt be reaped by this bright son of Jove.
One flower 'mid the whole harvest of the world—
And when his mighty wings are gently furled,
Upon his heart thou shalt lie tenderly;
But when the summons of his destiny
Calls to him through the ages to awake,
One heavenward spring the drooping bud shall shake
Back to the earth, where it shall withering lie
In the broad light of Immortality.

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Poem Submitted: Monday, September 6, 2010

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