04 March 2015

The Lady of Swarthmoor Hall (1614 – 23 April 1702)



Gratitude, dear God, for taking me out 
of the shadow into the Light glowing 
from you to me and out.  For should 
I hide my Light under a bushel's weight?
I am ready to hear your voice in here; 
Ready to speak the truth out there.
My house is your house, forever
and no power can remove you 
and no power can  silence me.


Margaret Fell
Detail from etching by Robert Spence


Margaret Fell, mothering Quakerism—
the Religious Society of Friends—
read in the scriptures that God, Jesus and
angels gave women the word to carry
and so she did, in and out of prison.

Margaret Fell met George Fox’s ministry
with a woman’s equality and strength
and one hundred years before Mary’s Rights
of Women justified women’s speaking
in the Light of the Gospels and Jesus.

Religious descent and persecution
were not her aim, but became her Cross
to bear for freedom of conscience in faith
versus the Church of England, for heavenly
kingdoms on earth devoid of violence.

Margaret Fell mothered nine children without
faltering and when she felt the Light cried
out "We are all thieves; we are all thieves; we
have taken the scriptures in words, and know
nothing of them in ourselves."  She learned true

Lightnot the word given by priests and books,
but what she spoke as a prophet herself
following Christ from then on, speaking truth
to power, writing from this heart we have,
all of us, deep inside, convinced but still.

Afraid, we are weakened by freedom to
speak without prison and deprivation.
Afraid or unthinking, we live fat and sleek
despite God’s calling and nature’s crying.
Afraid, we turn from Light and deny truth.

But visit the Lady of Swarthmoor Hall
and see that first-hand knowledge trumps
other ways of life, that ecstasy and
Light are worth danger, that friends of Jesus
are equal to the challenge of the cross.




Listen to a beautiful musical setting of Margaret Fell's words 


This is a rough start of  an epic poem for my prompt



Copyright © 2015  S.L.Chast



10 comments:

Sherry Blue Sky said...

WOW! What a woman! and what a poem. I resonate with "Afraid or unthinking, we live fat and sleek
despite God’s calling and nature’s crying. Afraid, we turn from Light and deny truth." Truth.

Unknown said...

Im sure she inspired many a song.
An inspiration for many generations. I think the people of the light are too busy "daring" to be "preaching".
Another excellent challenge Susan.
Your poem resonates with the needs of yesterday and today.

Myrna R. said...

May that amazing song be written soon. Beautiful, powerful poem Susan.

Old Egg said...

Sometimes being able to see clearly is a very hard thing to do and frightening to others. What saddens me are those who are aware but yet their voices are never heard.

Hannah said...

Amazing woman! The portion that speaks to the fact that we all hold the Truth within us is a powerful point and is what speaks to me the most. Thank you, Susan.

Sumana Roy said...

It's so very difficult to follow Jesus...he told us to leave everything and follow Him and He did assure us of that Light but who would listen to the Man who had no place to lay His head?...so always the path of the Children of Light is thorny and at the same time of infinite strength...I love the reverence and strength each word has here....a beautiful poem Susan for this special day.....

Jae Rose said...

She sounds like such and inspirational woman - thank you for introducing her to me

rallentanda said...

I like the point she made about lip service to Christianity...professing to be a Christian and actually living as one are two entirely different things....possibly the reason hypocrisy is condemned so many times by Jesus in the scriptures.
Anyone can call themselves anything and they do !

C.C. said...

She mothered nine children without faltering! Yikes and WOW. Perhaps she was a saint ;-)

Susmit said...

we have, all of us, deep inside, convinced but still.
Afraid, we are weakened by freedom to speak.....

Beautiful, thought provoking lines! Thanks for introducing this amazing lady, a braveheart !