Frances Anne Kemble

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

To Mrs. Dulaney - Poem by Frances Anne Kemble

What was thine errand here?
Thy beauty was more exquisite than aught
That from this marrèd earth
Takes its imperfect birth.
It was a radiant heavenly beauty, caught
From some far higher sphere,
And though an angel now, thou still must bear
The lovely semblance that thou here didst wear.
What was thine errand here?
Thy gentle thoughts, and holy, humble mind,
With earthly creatures coarse
Held not discourse,
But with fine spirits, of some purer kind,
Dwelt in communion dear;
And sure they speak to thee that language now,
Which thou wert wont to speak to us, below.
What was thine errand here?
To adorn anguish, and ennoble death,
And make infirmity
A patient victory.
And crown life's baseness with a glorious wreath,
That fades not on thy bier,
But fits, immortal soul! thy triumph still,
In that bright world where thou are gone to dwell.


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Poem Submitted: Monday, September 6, 2010



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