Verse > Anthologies > Alfred H. Miles, ed. > Women Poets of the Nineteenth Century
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Alfred H. Miles, ed.  Women Poets of the Nineteenth Century.  1907.
 
Sonnets. XI.–XII.
The Lost Light (George Eliot)
By Emily Pfeiffer (1841–1890)
 
December 29th, 1880

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,        5
  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,        10
Guarding from scorn—the 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
        15
  The greater teacher, having wandered wide
  In lonely strength of purity and pride
Through pathless sands, unfruitful as the sea.
Now warning words—and one clear act of thee,
  Bold pioneer who shouldst have been our guide—        20
  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        25
  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.
 
 
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