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Featured Poem: My Kingdom by Louisa May Alcott

Written by The Reader, 11th April 2016

While she is undoubtedly best known as the author of literary classic Little Women, Louisa May Alcott provides an interesting Featured Poem for the week ahead.

Essentially a poem about self-governance, the speaker battles with 'childish grief' to 'try and keep a sunny soul'. Something which many of us may struggle with on dull Monday mornings such as today.

While there is a strong religious element to this poem, stemming from Alcott's healthy religious upbringing, the focus remains on the personal endeavor of the speaker suggesting that her pursuit of grace is a reflection of her own strength of character rather than the cleanliness of her soul. She asks "How can I rule myself?" first and foremost before she seeks divine inspiration, "Dear Father, help me with the love that casteth out my fear".

There is no selfishness, as she fears in the first verse, but a fortitude not to seek the worldly glory that comes with a crown, but rather to find a sense of inner peace, the 'happy kingdom' within.

So should you need some divine inspiration this Monday morning look no further than Louisa May Alcott's My Kingdom:


My Kingdom

A little kingdom I possess
where thoughts and feelings dwell,
And very hard I find the task
of governing it well;
For passion tempts and troubles me,
A wayward will misleads,
And selfishness its shadow casts
On all my words and deeds.

How can I learn to rule myself,
to be the child I should,
Honest and brave, nor ever tire
Of trying to be good?
How can I keep a sunny soul
To shine along life's way?
How can I tune my little heart
To sweetly sing all day?

Dear Father, help me with the love
that casteth out my fear;
Teach me to lean on thee, and feel
That thou art very near,
That no temptation is unseen
No childish grief too small,
Since thou, with patience infinite,
Doth soothe and comfort all.

I do not ask for any crown
But that which all may win
Nor seek to conquer any world
Except the one within.
Be thou my guide until I find,
Led by a tender hand,
Thy happy kingdom in myself
And dare to take command.

Louisa May Alcott

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