19th Century Women's Poetry

Alice Brown (1857-?)

Born in Hampton Falls, NH, Brown moved to Boston as a young woman, intending to become a teacher, but her interests in literature led her to a position as staff member at Youth's Companion, one of the major periodicals for children's literature in the nineteenth century. She published several volumes of prose works and The Road to Castaly (1896), a collection of poems.

Seal thou the window! Yea, shut out the light
And bar my door to all the airs of spring.
Yet in my cell, concealed from curious sight,
Here will I sit and sing.
Deaf, blind, and wilt Thou have me dumb, also,
Telling in silence these sad beads of days?
So let it be: though no sweet numbers flow,
My breath shall be Thy praise.

Yea, though Thou slay the life wherein men see
The upward-mounting flame, the failing spark,
My heart of love, that heart Thou gavest me,
Shall beat on in the dark.

[AA, probably 1890s]