Writings by Susan Dickinson

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S.H.D. Commonplace Book (16:35:1),
Martha Dickinson Bianchi Collection,
John Hay Library, Brown University Libraries


[Charles A. Barnard in the Christian Register.]

I asked of Fate that I might know what
I, her unwilling thrall, should have at
As the just guerdon of my vassalage,
When all life's pageantry should be
From her dread clutch should I at length
          be free,
To wander at my will through star-strewn
To find my goal? But there came back
          to me
Nor word nor sign from her averted face.
But, when at length she turned in sullen
And, in a whirlwind of adversity,
Hurled all her unleashed furies on my
And with tumultuous ruin compassed me,
Till all my longings and my hopes were
To the fierce winds, while from the
          sheltered quay,
Over the harbor bar, my bark at least
Was blown upon a wild, uncharted sea,
Then rose in me a mightier than Fate,
A soul set free, by life's deep mysteries
To scorn earth's fleeting shadows while
          we wait;
And this, its trumpet call to me, I
     "Thou bearest thine unconquerable soul,
What dost thou fear? Stars in their
          courses wait
On him whose dauntless spirit spurns
Arise! I am the Master of thy Fate.
"Led am I by the power divine that
The Pleiads in the celestial fields, and
Orion in his bands; and those whose minds
Are staid on God he evermore enfolds
In perfect peace. The spinning world
          doth swing
Full-orbed on to the dawn; and I, thy
Serene shall hail its morning light and
And lead thee on victorious to thy goal."

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Transcription and commentary copyright 1998 by Martha Nell Smith,
Laura Elyn Lauth, and Lara Vetter, all rights reserved
Maintained by Rebecca Mooney  <rnmooney@umd.edu>
Last updated on January 23, 2008

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