A Celebration of Women Writers

"Invocation" by Felicia Hemans (1793-1835) Records of Woman: With Other Poems. Edinburgh: William Blackwood, & London: T. Cadell, 1828, second edition. pp. 242-244.

Editor: Mary Mark Ockerbloom

[Page 242] 


I called on dreams and visions, to disclose
That which is veil'd from waking thought; conjured
Eternity, as men constrain a ghost
To appear and answer.

ANSWER me, burning stars of night!
  Where is the spirit gone,
That past the reach of human sight,
  As a swift breeze hath flown?–
And the stars answer'd me–"We roll
  In light and power on high;
But, of the never-dying soul,
  Ask that which cannot die."

[Page 243] 

Oh! many-toned and chainless wind!
  Thou art a wanderer free;
Tell me if thou its place canst find,
  Far over mount and sea?–
And the wind murmur'd in reply,
  "The blue deep I have cross'd,
And met its barks and billows high,
  But not what thou hast lost."

Ye clouds, that gorgeously repose
  Around the setting sun,
Answer! have ye a home for those
  Whose earthly race is run?
The bright clouds answer'd–"We depart,
  We vanish from the sky;
Ask what is deathless in thy heart,
  For that which cannot die."

[Page 244] 

Speak then, thou voice of God within,
  Thou of the deep, low tone!
Answer me, thro' life's restless din,
  Where is the spirit flown?
And the voice answer'd–"Be thou still!
  Enough to know is given;
Clouds, winds, and stars their part fulfil,
  Thine is to trust in Heaven."


Editor: Mary Mark Ockerbloom