Below are the all-time best Elizabeth Wesley poems as chosen by PoetrySoup members
When the crimson rose has faded
And our day at last is done;
In the forest dark and shaded
Blows the tempest, dims the sun.
When the night holds us together
Shall forgiveness mend the past
Will despair bring sunny weather
And heal our hearts at last?
If we hide within the shadows
Will you stay here close to me;
Will we walk forgotten meadows
Or sail a foreign sea?
In vain the hour must reap
What we gathered in the sun;
And love's harvest now will weep
For the battle never won.
Within the world's disgrace
In the hour of Nevermore;
Will there be another race
To a far-off fabled shore?
We promised love tomorrow
We preen with pride today
Now pride and love will borrow
The tears of yesterday.
Our pride we now confess it
Is a sin that couldn't last;
Our passion if we kiss it
Is like a dream now passed.
While fragrance scents the garden
And the misty moon rides high;
The wind whispers a pardon
When love goes passing by.
Softly and sadly
Up on the knoll;
The vesper bell
Begins to toll.
Lock all the doors
Blow out the light;
The hour is late
Sleep comes with the night.
Close all the windows
Smother the fire;
Sound slips into silence
When mortals retire.
Downstairs is deserted
No one in the hall
Nirvana of sleep
Rules over all.
A day's work completed
Now done like the day;
Rest is now needed
For those made of clay.
How soft is the night
Where dark shadows fall;
The seduction of sleep
Captures us all.
We will walk then, you and I
When daylight shuts her weary eye;
Down the streets where beggars sleep
And drug crazed addicts spend their keep.
On streets that wind through thick and thin
Past monuments of broken sin
The painted whores who smile a lot
A rejected child that time forgot.
The evening hymn that sorrows sing
The call to prayer that church bells ring;
The sounds and smells that rape a city
The calls for help that won't find pity.
Do we have time to heal the curse
That captures all the universe
Or would it really be worthwhile
To quell the question with a smile?
But we have walked these streets before
And hoped our ears could dim the roar
Of silence gripping cold nightmares
That come unbidden up the stairs.
We share the night with lesser fools
Who stake their plight without sound rules
For each new challenge finds old pain
That lives to give then comes again.
When I lay me down to sleep,
And cry the tears that sinners weep;
To speak the words of a contrite prayer,
And know that someone listens there.
He cares for sheep that have gone astray,
Who willfully wander their own way;
They vex the pride that hides within,
And drink the bitter cup of sin.
The web of lies and dark deception,
Lie in defeat of Light’s conception;
To capture all and destroy life,
With passion’s fire and human strife
We need to plant the gospel vine,
Where evil rules and saints repine.
While martyrs lead with ransomed prayer,
With hope for life that tarries there.
Blood that was shed on Calvary,
Set slaves of transgression wholly free.
So we rise from the grave to seek reward,
Giving praise to our risen Lord.
I have seen fair lady April
Dance with daffodils;
I have seen the misty dawn
Light moors and windy hills.
Painted in dark shadows
Of a sunlit afternoon
I have smelled the heady scent
Where blue hyacinths commune.
I have heard the curlew's call
As she sailed the wild dark sea;
And seen the sailor guide his ship
In the dream that used to be.
I have known precious moments
In the echoes of a song;
But I never knew the comfort of
A place where I belong.
I called to the winds of autumn
As they wrapped up the dying year;
"Oh stay for a moment and tell me
Of answers I need to hear".
Who is the rival of prudence
Who is the merchant of crime
Who closes the eyes of beauty
And steals the hours of time?
Who brings the winter to age
From the springs of the fountain of youth
Who is the companion of sorrow
And destroys the justice of truth?
Who's the apprentice of Satan
The Prince of the Power of Air
Whose appetite is transgression
With more than enough to share?
Who weakens the power of the great
Who slaughters the wisdom of wise
Who brings the honest and gracious
To depths that others despise?
The winds of autumn now answered
With a voice like a phantom call
"It's an evil afflicting so many
Who drown in the drink alcohol."
This is the spell of the devil
Who casts his net from hell
An addiction with power to destroy
Gathering all who are caught in its spell
For his net will gather the unwary
To beguile lost souls with his breath;
This is the destruction of lost dreams
That perish in the arms of death
You loved me just a little
You never loved me long;
But you gave my soul serenity
And gave my heart a song.
You loved me for a moment
I found it in your eyes;
But your mouth I could not capture
By temptation or surprise.
Sweet lips that I remember
With a poignant surge of pain
As one remembers fragrance
Of the softly falling rain.
Within this world of wonder
Without warning I feel sad;
The dream I hold still haunts me
For the kiss I never had.
I heard the maytime robin sing
His merry voice has wakened spring;
Each golden note bursts forth to soar
Where sound and blossom now restore.
The drowsy earth sheds winter's rest
And all that slept find spring confessed
That radiant song that fills the air
Brings good news beyond compare.
The birds proclaim with joyful tune
The raptures of impatient June;
With potent scent the blooming flowers
Perfumes time with fragrant hours
A nest well hidden in a tree
Holds new life we can't yet see;
The crimson rose perfumes the gale
The virgin lily crowns the vale.
Where sun and shadows come to dwell
Seductive spring will cast her spell.
When twilight's spectral fingers fold
Sweet blossoms of every hue;
Some half opened bud will hold
Its pearls of evening dew.
Touched with every sunshine hour
The eternal earth has shown
All the perfume of the flower
Till it finally becomes its own.
We that wait may never find
A chance to sing our praise;
For memories we seek to bind
Take the scent of fading days.
The poet who has never spent
His words in futile strain;
For him the misty dewdrops lent
Their diamonds to the rain.
Unfastened in their fragrant bell
They tell their own dear tale;
Then from the cloud from which they fell
Their haunting scents exhale.
The night was fickle as November
A time when all sleep in slumber;
A moist mist hangs over the river,
And a still cold moon hangs as a sliver.
A soft liquid light captures the glow,
Of the first few flakes of new fallen snow;
She shines her light on turret towers,
And tucks in bed the sleeping flowers.
Her crescent rides through clouds that fly,
Shining on wolves as they howl and cry.
Etching the transient phantoms of night,
As wings of an owl brush the dust of flight;
The crystalline light shines on lovers,
Yet pale and still the moonlight hovers;
To tip with silver the restless waves,
And on tombstones marking silent graves.
Cast your moonbeams, cast them down,
As you float in your silver crown;
And the ribbon of dawn will wrap your head,
And put your shining eye to bed.