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ADELAIDE ANNE PROCTER
English poet and activist
(1825 - 1864)

Do not look at life's long sorrow; see how small each moment's pain.
      - [Sorrow]

Hours are golden links, God's token
  Reaching heaven; but one by one
    Take them, lest the chain be broken
      Ere the pilgrimage be done.
      - [Time]

How can a mother's heart feel cold or weary
  Knowing her dearer self safe, sheltered, warm?
    How can she feel her road too dark or dreary,
      Who knows her treasure sheltered from the storm?
        How can she sin? Our hearts may be unheeding,
          Our God forgot, our holy saints defied;
            But can a mother hear her dead child pleading,
              And thrust those little angel hands aside?
      - [Death of Children]

If thou couldst trust, poor soul!
  In Him who rules the whole,
    Thou wouldst find peace and rest;
      Wisdom and sight are well, but trust is best.
      - [Trust]

Kinds hearts are here; yet would the tenderest one
  Have limits to its mercy; God has none.
      - [Mercy]

Rejoice, oh! grieving heart,
  The hours fly past;
    With each some sorrow dies,
      With each some shadow flies,
        Until at last
          The red dawn in the east
            Bids weary night depart,
              And pain is past.
      - [Heaven]

Words are mighty; words are living.
      - [Words]

Before I trust my Fate to thee,
  Or place my hand in thine,
    Before I let thy Future give
      Color and form to mine,
        Before I peril all for thee,
          Question thy soul to-night for me.
      - A Woman's Question [Matrimony]

Half my life is full of sorrow,
  Half of joy, still fresh and new;
    One of these lives is a fancy,
      But the other one is true.
      - Dream-Life [Life]

Do not cheat thy Heart and tell her,
  "Grief will pass away,
    Hope for fairer times in future,
      And forget to-day."
        Tell her, if you will, that sorrow
          Need not come in vain;
            Tell her that the lesson taught her
              Far outweighs the pain.
      - Friend Sorrow [Sorrow]

Starry Crowns of Heaven
  Set in azure night!
    Linger yet a little
      Ere you hide your light:--
        Nay; let Starlight fade away,
          Heralding the day!
      - Give Place [Stars]

No star is ever lost we once have seen,
  We always may be what we might have been.
      - Legend of Provence [Stars]

Rise! for the day is passing,
  And you lie dreaming on;
    The others have buckled their armour,
      And forth to the fight have gone:
        A place in the ranks awaits you,
          Each man has some part to play;
            The Past and the Future are nothing,
              In the face of the stern To-day.
      - Legends and Lyrics [Today]

Seated one day at the organ,
  I was weary and ill at ease,
    And my fingers wandered idly
      Over the noisy keys.
        I do not know what I was playing,
          Or what I was dreaming then,
            But I struck one chord of music
              Like the sound of a great Amen.
      - Lost Chord [Music]

Hark! the hours are softly calling
  Bidding Spring arise,
    To listen to the rain-drops falling
      From the cloudy skies,
        To listen to Earth's weary voices,
          Louder every day,
            Bidding her no longer linger
              On her charm'd way;
                But hasten to her task of beauty
                  Scarcely yet begun.
      - Spring [Spring]

Through the black night and driving rain
  A ship is struggling, all in vain,
    To live upon the stormy main;--
      Miserere Domine!
      - The Storm [Shipwreck]

O there are Voices of the Past,
  Links of a broken chain,
    Wings that can bear me back to Times
      Which cannot come again;
        Yet God forbid that I should lose
          The echoes that remain!
      - Voices of the Past [Past]


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