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Poem by Emily Jane Pfeiffer


The Lost Light


I

I never touched thy royal hand, dead queen,
 But from afar have looked upon thy face,
 Which, calm with conquest, carried still the trace
Of many a hard-fought battle that had been.
Since thou hast done with life, its toil and teen,
 Its pains and gains, and that no further grace
 Can come to us of thee, a poorer place
Shows the lorn world,a dimlier lighted scene.

Lost queen and captain, Pallas of our band,
 Who late upon the height of glory stood,
Guarding from scornthe ægis in thy hand
 The banner of insurgent womanhood;
Who of our cause may take the high command?
 Who make with shining front our victory good?

II

Great student of the schools, who grew to be
 The greater teacher, having wandered wide
 In lonely strength of purity and pride
Through pathless sands, unfruitful as the sea.
Now warning wordsand one clear act of thee,
 Bold pioneer who shouldst have been our guide
 Affirm the track which Wisdom must abide;
For man is bond, the beast alone is free.

So hast thou sought a larger good, so won
 Thy way to higher law, that by thy grave
We, thanking thee for lavish gifts, for none
 May owe thee more than that in quest so brave
True to a light our onward feet must shun
 Thou gavest nobler strength our strength to save.



                      Emily Jane Pfeiffer


Emily Jane Pfeiffer's other poems:
  1. Etna
  2. Any Husband to Many a Wife
  3. A Plea
  4. Shelley
  5. To a Fledgling Robin


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