Rate this poem:(0.00 / 0 votes)

I Dare Not

Ada Cambridge 1844 (St Germans, Norfolk) – 1926 (Melbourne)


I hear strange voices in the air.
My pulses leap, I tear my hair
In rage, rebellion, and despair;
Yet dare not speak.


I am for right, my foes for wrong,
But they are legion, they are strong,
And I am one amid the throng,
Alone and weak.


What ear would hear me if I cried?
What comrades rally to my side?
What force have I to stem the tide?
What right have I?


Though I should plunge in flood and flame,
Though I should suffer shame and blame,
The world would triumph all the same —
And I should die.


Why should I join the hopeless fray?
Why should I waste my little day?
Oh, why should I be called to pay
So vast a price?

* * * *

Have courage, craven soul of mine!
The light within thee is divine,
And others need to see it shine,
Let that suffice.


Others beside thee quake and quail
Before the terrors that prevail;
Thy captive kindred faint and fail
As well as thou.


But when thy lifted front they see,
They will take heart and soar with thee;
It is thy help to set them free
They wait for now.


Give to those silent sufferers each
What inspiration he can reach;
Give righteous treason honest speech,
That all may hear.


This god of custom that we dread,
This social code that weighs like lead,
What is it worth, when all is said?
What is't to fear?


When with a faithful eye one sees
That they whose will we live to please,
Crush right with might for love of ease,
And selfish greed.


When infinite night and silence lower
O'er such brief span of human power,
These poor conventions of an hour
Seem poor indeed.


Be brave, my soul! The world may frown,
And its brute fashions bear thee down,
But Truth will swim, whate'er may drown,
And Truth will live.


Be bold to speak at Truth's behest,
And, though thou suffer without rest,
Yet still thy gain shall be the best
That life can give.

Font size:

Submitted on May 13, 2011

1:49 min read

Ada Cambridge

Ada Cambridge, later known as Ada Cross, was an English-born Australian writer. She wrote more than 25 works of fiction, three volumes of poetry and two autobiographical works. Many of her novels were serialised in Australian newspapers but never published in book form. While she was known to friends and family by her married name, Ada Cross, her newspaper readers knew her as A. C.. She later reverted to her maiden name, Ada Cambridge, and that is how she is known today.  more…

All Ada Cambridge poems | Ada Cambridge Books

FAVORITE (0 fans)

Discuss this Ada Cambridge poem with the community:



    Find a translation for this poem in other languages:

    Select another language:

    • - Select -
    • 简体中文 (Chinese - Simplified)
    • 繁體中文 (Chinese - Traditional)
    • Español (Spanish)
    • Esperanto (Esperanto)
    • 日本語 (Japanese)
    • Português (Portuguese)
    • Deutsch (German)
    • العربية (Arabic)
    • Français (French)
    • Русский (Russian)
    • ಕನ್ನಡ (Kannada)
    • 한국어 (Korean)
    • עברית (Hebrew)
    • Gaeilge (Irish)
    • Українська (Ukrainian)
    • اردو (Urdu)
    • Magyar (Hungarian)
    • मानक हिन्दी (Hindi)
    • Indonesia (Indonesian)
    • Italiano (Italian)
    • தமிழ் (Tamil)
    • Türkçe (Turkish)
    • తెలుగు (Telugu)
    • ภาษาไทย (Thai)
    • Tiếng Việt (Vietnamese)
    • Čeština (Czech)
    • Polski (Polish)
    • Bahasa Indonesia (Indonesian)
    • Românește (Romanian)
    • Nederlands (Dutch)
    • Ελληνικά (Greek)
    • Latinum (Latin)
    • Svenska (Swedish)
    • Dansk (Danish)
    • Suomi (Finnish)
    • فارسی (Persian)
    • ייִדיש (Yiddish)
    • հայերեն (Armenian)
    • Norsk (Norwegian)
    • English (English)


    Use the citation below to add this poem to your bibliography:


    "I Dare Not" Poetry.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2021. Web. 24 Oct. 2021. <https://www.poetry.com/poem/69/i-dare-not>.

    Become a member!

    Join our community of poets and poetry lovers to share your work and offer feedback and encouragement to writers all over the world!

    Browse Poetry.com


    Are you a poetry master?

    "He was like a rainy Tuesday" is an example of ________.
    • A. analogy
    • B. idiom
    • C. metaphor
    • D. simile

    Our favorite collection of

    Famous Poets