Felicia Dorothea Hemans

To Wordsworth

Felicia Dorothea Hemans was an English poet. Two of her opening lines, "The boy stood on the burning deck" and "The stately homes of England", have acquired classic status.






Thine is a strain to read among the hills,
The old and full of voices;–by the source
Of some free stream, whose gladdening presence fills
The solitude with sound; for in its course
Even such is thy deep song, that seems a part
Of those high scenes, a fountain from their heart.

Or its calm spirit fitly may be taken
To the still breast, in sunny garden-bowers,
Where vernal winds each tree's low tones awaken,
And bud and bell with changes mark the hours.
There let thy thoughts be with me, while the day
Sinks with a golden and serene decay.

Or by some hearth where happy faces meet,
When night hath hush'd the woods, with all their birds,
There, from some gentle voice, that lay were sweet
As antique music, link'd with household words.
While, in pleased murmurs, woman's lip might move,
And the rais'd eye of childhood shine in love.

Or where the shadows of dark solemn yews
Brood silently o'er some lone burial-ground,
Thy verse hath power that brightly might diffuse
A breath, a kindling, as of spring, around;
From its own glow of hope and courage high,
And steadfast faith's victorious constancy.

True bard and holy!–thou art ev'n as one
Who, by some secret gift of soul or eye,
In every spot beneath the smiling sun,
Sees where the springs of living waters lie:
Unseen awhile they sleep–till, touch'd by thee,
Bright healthful waves flow forth to each glad wanderer free.

© Poetry.com