Frances Anne Kemble
Frances Anne Kemble, was a notable British actress from a theatre family in the early and mid-nineteenth century. She also was a well-known and popular writer, whose published works included plays, poetry, eleven volumes of memoirs, travel and works about the theatre. In 1834 she married an American, Pierce Mease Butler, heir to cotton, tobacco and rice plantations and hundreds of slaves on the Sea Islands of Georgia.
They spent the winter of 1838-1839 at the plantations, and Kemble kept a diary of her observations. She returned to the theatre after their separation in 1847 and toured major cities of the United States. Although her memoir circulated in abolitionist circles, Kemble... more »
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Frances Anne Kemble Poems
What shall I do with all the days and hours That must be counted ere I see thy face? How shall I charm the interval that lowers
An Evening Song
Good night, love! May heaven's brightest stars watch over thee! Good angels spread their wings, and cover thee; And through the night,
A Rejected Lover To His Mistress (I)
Knowest thou not that of all human gifts God chooses love?—alone, that may be laid
Blame not my tears, love, to you has been given The brightest, best gift, God to mortals allows;
Come where the white waves dance along the shore Of some lone isle, lost in the unknown seas;
A Wish (I)
Let me not die for ever! when I'm gone To the cold earth; but let my memory Live like the gorgeous western light that shone
Once more, once more into the sunny fields Oh, let me stray! And drink the joy that young existence yields On a bright, cloudless day.
A Wish (III)
Oh that I were a fairy sprite, to wander In forest paths, o'erarched with oak and beech; Where the sun's yellow light, in slanting rays,
A Noonday Vision
I saw one whom I love more than my life Stand on a perilous edge of slippery rock, Under her feet the waters' furious strife,
I SHALL come no more to the Cedar Hall, The fairies' palace, beside the stream;
A Wish (II)
Let me not die for ever! when I'm laid In the cold earth; but let my memory Live still among ye, like the evening shade,
Could I be sure that I should die The moment you had ceased to love me, I would not turn so fearfully
Life wanes, and the bright sunlight of our youth Sets o'er the mountain-tops, where once Hope stood. O Innocence! O Trustfulness! O Truth!
By the pure spring, whose haunted waters flow Through thy sequestered dell unto the sea, At sunny noon, I will appear to thee:
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What shall I do with all the days and hours
That must be counted ere I see thy face?
How shall I charm the interval that lowers
Between this time and that sweet time of grace?
Shall I in slumber steep each weary sense,
Weary with longing?—shall I flee away
Into past days, and with some fond pretence
Cheat myself to forget the present day?
Shall love for thee lay on my soul the sin
Of casting from me God's great gift of time;
Shall I these mists of memory locked within,
Leave, and forget life's purposes sublime?
Oh, how, or by what means, may I contrive