Charles Harpur

Here you will find the Poem Mary Arden of poet Charles Harpur

Mary Arden

When a simple English maiden, 
 Nested warm in Wilmicote, 
Sang forth like a lark uprising 
 Heavenward with its morning note, 
Did no English ear that listened, 
 Even then, foretouched by fame, 
Tremble to the prophet-music 
 Fountain-headed in thy name, 
 Mary Arden? 
And to thee thyself, O tell me! 
 Shade of Shakespeare?s mother, tell me! 
Did no dazzling vision come, 
 Banishing all thoughts of gloom, 
Of the bardic grandeurs waiting 
 On thy matron fate, when He 
Who in time should call thee mother 
 Should all time?s subjector be, 
 Mary Arden? 

Then a mother we behold thee, 
 With that babe upon thy breast, 
That great nascent soul, so bird-like, 
 Babbling in its fragrant nest: 
O what spirit sweetly human, 
 O what instincts mildly wise, 
Sucked he from those mother-fountains, 
 Drew he from those mother-eyes, 
 Mary Arden? 

But shall we, now spirit-basking 
 In the noonblaze of his fame, 
Fail to read a sign prophetic 
 In thy lovely maiden name? 
No; it is the star that trembled 
 O?er a royal poet?s birth; 
And amongst immortal Maries, 
 Second to but one on earth, 
 Mary Arden! 
Glory to thee! Mary Arden! 
Shakespeare?s mother! England?s Mary!