Verse > Anthologies > Hunt and Lee, eds. > The Book of the Sonnet
Hunt and Lee, comps.  The Book of the Sonnet.  1867.
I. To Shakespeare
By Frances Anne Kemble (1809–1893)
OFT, when my lips I open to rehearse
  Thy wondrous spells of wisdom, and of power,
And that my voice, and thy immortal verse,
  On listening ears and hearts, I mingled pour,
I shrink dismayed, and awful doth appear        5
  The vain presumption of my own weak deed;
Thy glorious spirit seems to mine so near,
  That suddenly I tremble as I read.
Thee an invisible auditor I fear.
O, if it might be so, my master dear!        10
  With what beseeching would I pray to thee,
To make me equal to my noble task!
Succor from thee how humbly would I ask,
  Thy worthiest works to utter worthily!

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