Emmeline Stuart-Wortley (1806-1855)

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The Heart

Deliver me from mine own dreams! but save
From mine own thoughts; for these, too busy still,
Fill up the mightiest measure of mine ill
And form the darkest doom that I must brave!
Deliverance, then, from these I deeply crave;
But patience this must need, and power and skill;
For the great heart is cunning, and its will
Right tyrannous! say who stoops not as its slave?

The heart is as a giant in its might,
And doth in mastery of its greatness tower,
And riseth in its strength, to blast and blight!
Heart, thou art a host of giants in thine hour!
The passions are thy warriors; and these fight
As though their arms were storms, the thunder's conquering dower!

Listen Awhile

Listen awhile! but lend me thy loved ear,
And I will teach my soul of souls to thine!
The coils of thought will curiously untwine,
And strive to show how deeply thou art dear.
But first must I full many a mist of fear
And cloud of grief, that dull this doom of mine,
Essay to chase away ere yet can shine
The star of perfect love, full, strong, and clear!

Then, then behold it all one blaze of light,
Itself a glowing firmament of fire,
All unextinguishably clear and bright,
Though oft thus girt by clouds deep, dark, and dire
That do disturb its splendour; check its might.
Listen! and smile, and bid these heavy glooms retire.

Past and Future

I cannot rule my thoughts that round one theme
Hang, like to swarming bees, till all grow one!
And yet that theme I fain would learn to shun.
It is my life's too fair but fatal dream.
Too dangerous do its deep enchantments seem,
But dearer than my soul--undone! undone!
I cannot rule my thoughts; each rising sun
Sees me still drifting farther down the stream.

O fearful stream of passion! wave by wave
Dost thou engulf my being; must it be?
Is there no power to strengthen or to save?
No tokens of a change these eyes can see:
Days past and days to come one likeness have.
I know my future so, it seems a memory!

The Music

There is a music in my mind tonight
A visitation of sweet thoughts, and rare!
I know not whence, but feel them springing there,
Aëry and delicate, as wind or light.
That music in my mind of magic might,
This light cast down, on every thought, so fair,
This stirring sweetness, like to moving air,
Can this be love?--the immortal and the bright!

It is surely love! for nought beside can be
So strange and yet so sweet, so soft yet strong.
It is love, the crown of all, crowned mystery!
My thoughts are gathering to a starry throng,
And scattering forth their brightness far and free;
Yet love, that sun, shines dazzling these among!