To E.B. by Bessie Rayner Parkes Belloc

At New York.

I saw you seated in your lonely room,
Of human friends forlorn, of spirits full,
Who gave you comfort in your solitude,
And spoke to you in accents beautiful.
Hearing your voice, unknown, my spirit leapt
(Which, knowing, I have learnt to call so dear),
Fond memory of that first hour have I kept,
Tho’ scantly its result recorded here;
But in my heart such thoughts to it belong,
As hath, of its little fount, a river deep and strong.

And now to those far shores, I say, God speed,
Where I have never been, but often now
That anxious heart will of your path take heed,
And daily pray success may crown your brow,
Shedding its glory on your quiet face,
Which needs that baptism, dear friend, no less
That you are strong, upheld in no embrace,
And, deeply natur’d, if unbless’d could bless.

By years of loving hope at length fulfill’d
In our true friendship, by a common aim,
By weariness subdu’d and doubtings still’d,
By joint allegiance to a slander’d name;
By that eternity towards which we speed,
By glorious faiths we would incarnate here,
By ties which nor of space nor time take heed,
I charge you, going hence, to hold me dear.

From: Belloc, Bessie Rayner, Poems, 1852, John Chapman: London, p. 94.

Date: 1852

By: Bessie Rayner Parkes Belloc (1829-1925)

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