Readers may recall the previous article in which the memorial tablet to Ian Lindsay Lunsford Hadow was described. Although Ian was born in England and died there at age 7, his mother was from a Warrenton family and had married an Englishman. When Ian came from England to stay with his Warrenton grandparents, he was baptized at Saint James’, the family parish.
Fortuitously, fellow parishioner Eileen Burgwyn kindly wrote on March 10 informing of the origin of the quotation on the memorial tablet —
“No star is ever lost we once have seen”
Eileen explained that the quotation was taken from a narrative poem by Adelaide Anne Procter called “A Legend of Provence.” A. A. Procter was said to be the favorite poet of Queen Victoria. This thoughtful quotation comes from the last stanza of the poem (emphasis added):
And thus the Legend ended. It may be
Something is hidden in the mystery,
Besides the lesson of God’s pardon shown,
Never enough believed, or asked, or known.
Have we not all, amid life’s petty strife,
Some pure ideal of a noble life
That once seemed possible? Did we not hear
The flutter of its wings, and feel it near,
And just within our reach? It was. And yet
We lost it in this daily jar and fret,
And now live idle in a vague regret.
But still our place is kept, and it will wait,
Ready for us to fill it, soon or late:
No star is ever lost we once have seen,
We always may be what we might have been.
Since Good, though only thought, has life and breath,
God’s life—can always be redeemed from death;
And evil, in its nature, is decay,
And any hour can blot it all away;
The hopes that lost in some far distance seem,
May be the truer life, and this the dream.