To A Star by Frances Anne Kemble

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Thou little star, that in the purple clouds
Hang’st, like a dewdrop, in a violet bed,
First gem of evening, glittering on the shrouds,
‘Mid whose dark folds the day lies pale and dead,
As through my tears my soul looks up to thee,
Loathing the heavy chains that bind it here,
There comes a fearful thought that misery
Perhaps is found, even in thy distant sphere.
Art thou a world of sorrow and of sin,
The heritage of death, disease, decay,
A wilderness, like that we wander in,
Where all things fairest soonest pass away?
And are there graves in thee, thou radiant world,
Round which life’s sweetest buds fall witherèd,
Where hope’s bright wings in the dark earth lie furled,
And living hearts are mouldering with the dead?
Perchance they do not die, that dwell in thee,
Perchance theirs is a darker doom than ours,
Unchanging woe, and endless misery,
And mourning that hath neither days nor hours.
Horrible dream!—O dark and dismal path,
Where I now weeping walk, I will not leave thee.
Earth has one boon for all her children—death:
Open thy arms, O mother! and receive me!
Take off the bitter burthen from the slave,
Give me my birthright! give—the grave, the grave!

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