by Bella Lavender, née Guerin (1858-1953)

Sonnet (suggested by the W.P.A. cable to the Albert Hall meeting
on 10th April, 1913) by Bella Lavender, M.A.

More free art thou in prison than the race
Of sordid men who sell for gain or greed
Our free-born sisters in their hour of need,
And cling by perfumed vows to pay and place;
Nor see in deeds like these their own disgrace.
The cause of woman’s freedom, once begun,
Must grow in radiance, like the rising sun,
And clothe its leader’s name with deathless grace.
More free art thou in prison! Glorious thought!
That holds the galling fetters but as naught.
Thus, noble lady, turn thy steadfast face
To us, thy sisters, who, though far apart,
Are with thee hand to hand and heart to heart.
For in thy courage full success we trace.

Lavender, Bella, Mrs Pankhurst: sonnet (1913, poem)
Image of Bella Guerin and her son Henry (1895) sourced from Victorian Collections: Accessed