Still those blue eyes looked at me through my sleep,
Changed by the power of dreams to fearful things.
They bore me far away, where evening flings
Her gorgeous blue on Atlas: they did sweep
Into the bluer sky, where comets blaze
And golden creatures live in starry rays.
Onward they went where filmy mist-wreaths creep
About the rolling moon; and fell with me
Into the sunless caverns of the sea,
Where spirits all of blue into my soul did gaze!
Young men should not write sonnets, if they dream
Some day to reach the bright bare seats of fame:
To such, sweet thoughts and mighty feelings seem
As though, like foreign things, they rarely came.
Eager as men, when haply they have heard
Of some new songster, some gay-feathered bird,
That hath o'er blue seas strayed in hope to find
In our thin foliage here a summer home—
Fain would they catch the bright things in their mind,
And cage them into sonnets as they come.
No; they should serve their wants most sparingly,
Till the ripe time of song, when young thoughts fail,
Then their sad sonnets, like old bards, might be
Merry as youth, and yet gray-haired and hale.
Frances Anne Kemble published a verse melodrama, Frances I, in 1827.Two
years later, she made her debut as an actress at Covent Garden, playing the
role of Juliet. As a stage star, she toured the United States, where she met
Pierce Butler, a Georgia plantation owner whom she married in 1834. She
left him in 1845 and returned to England, shortly after publishing Poems
(1844). She returned to the stage and gave Shakespearean readings for two
decades, often returning to America. Her Journal of a Residence on a Georgia
Plantation (1863) details the everyday workings of slavery, an institution she
abhorred. At the age of eighty, Kemble published her first novel, Far Away
and Long Ago.
Whene'er I recollect the happy time
When you and I held converse dear together,