Fanny Kemble (1809-1893)

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The Woods

Cover me with your everlasting arms,--
Ye guardian giants of this solitude!--
From the ill-sight of men, and from the rude
Tumultuous din of yon wild world's alarms!
Oh, knit your mighty limbs around, above,
And close me in for ever! let me dwell
With the wood spirits, in the darkest spell
That ever with your verdant locks ye wove.

The air is full of countless voices, joined
In one eternal hymn; the whispering wind,
The shuddering leaves, the hidden water springs,
The work-song of the bees, whose honeyed wings
Hang in the golden tresses of the lime,
Or buried lie in purple beds of thyme.

My Love

There's not a fibre in my trembling frame
That does not vibrate when thy step draws near,
There's not a pulse that throbs not when I hear
Thy voice, thy breathing, nay thy very name.
When thou art with me every sense seems dim,
And all I am, or know, or feel is thee;
My soul grows faint, my veins run liquid flame,
And my bewildered spirit seems to swim
In eddying whirls of passion, dizzily.

When thou art gone, there creeps into my heart
A cold and bitter consciousness of pain:
The light, the warmth of life with thee depart,
And I sit dreaming over and over again
Thy greeting clasp, thy parting look and tone;
And suddenly I wake--and am alone.

A Petition

Lady, whom my belovéd loves so well!
When on his clasping arm thy head reclineth,
When on thy lips his ardent kisses dwell,
And the bright flood of burning light that shineth
In his dark eyes, is poured into thine;
When thou shalt lie enfolded to his heart
In all the trusting helplessness of love;
If in such joy sorrow can find a part,
Oh, give one sigh unto a doom like mine!
Which I would have thee pity, but not prove.
One cold, calm, careless, wintry look that fell
Haply by chance on one, is all that he
Ever gave my love; round that, my wild thoughts dwell
In one eternal pang of memory.