A Celebration of Women Writers

"Lines" by Felicia Hemans (1793 - 1835)
This Edition: Hemans, Felicia Dorothea. The Poetical Works of Felicia Dorothea Hemans London: Oxford University Press, 1914. pp. 728-730.

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O THOU ! whose pure, exalted mind,
  Lives in this record, fair and bright;
O thou ! whose blameless life combined,
Soft female charms and grace refined,
      With science and with light !
  Celestial maid ! whose spirit soar'd
      Beyond this vale of tears;
  Whose clear, enlighten'd eye explored
      The lore of years !

Daughter of Heaven ! if here, e'en here,
  The wing of towering thought was thine:
If, on this dim and mundane sphere,
Fair truth illumed thy bright career,
      With morning-star divine;
  How must thy bless'd ethereal soul,
    Now kindle in her noon-tide ray;
  And hail, unfetter'd by control,
      The Fount of Day !

E'en now, perhaps, thy seraph eyes
  Undimm'd by doubt, nor veil'd by fear,
Behold a chain of wonders rise;
Gaze on the noon-beam of the skies,
      Transcendent, pure, and clear !
  E'en now, the fair, the good, the true,
    From mortal sight conceal'd,
  Bless in one blaze thy raptured view,
      In light reveal'd !

If here, the lore of distant time,
  And learning's flowers were all thine own;
How must thy mind ascend sublime,
Matured in heaven's empyreal clime,
      To light's unclouded throne !
Perhaps, e'en now, thy kindling glance,
  Each orb of living fire explores;
Darts o'er creation's wide expanse,
      Admiresadores !

Oh ! if that lightning-eye surveys
  This dark and sublunary plain;
How must the wreath of human praise,
Fade, wither, vanish, in thy gaze,
      So dim, so pale, so vain !
How, like a faint and shadowy dream,
  Must quiver learning's brightest ray;
While on thine eyes, with lucid stream,
The sun of glory pours his beam,
      Perfection's day!

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