By Frances Anne Kemble 1809–1893
Better trust all, and be deceived,
   And weep that trust, and that deceiving;
Than doubt one heart, that, if believed,
   Had blessed one’s life with true believing.

Oh, in this mocking world, too fast
   The doubting fiend o’ertakes our youth!
Better be cheated to the last,   
   Than lose the blessèd hope of truth.

Source: She Wields a Pen: American Women Poets of the Nineteenth Century (University of Iowa Press, 1997)

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Poet Frances Anne Kemble 1809–1893

POET’S REGION U.S., Southern

Subjects Religion, Faith & Doubt, Social Commentaries

 Frances Anne Kemble


Born in London, abolitionist, poet, and writer Frances Anne (Fanny) Kemble was raised in a family of prominent stage actors. She began her career as an actor and earned acclaim for her 1829 turn as Juliet in Romeo and Juliet, performed at her father Charles Kemble’s Covent Garden Theatre. After a tour of the United States, she married Pierce Mease Butler, one of the largest slaveholders in the nation. The narrative of her . . .

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Poems by Frances Anne Kemble

Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Religion, Faith & Doubt, Social Commentaries

POET’S REGION U.S., Southern

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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