Sweet “Sister Constance”, would your life were mine?
So purely fed, so consecrate to Rule,
Then would no peevish fret, no foolish pule
Creep in a sour winter to my prime.
But yours, your life is ever Autumn time,
Season of fruitful good, and quiet cool,
Your eyes are ever with your heart at school,
Your ears are mellow with the Vesper chime.
Oh! hands of “pure religion undefiled,”
That comfort age, & tend the sickly child,
Oh! hearts not ever shadowed with a doubt,
And doors that keep peace in & jarring out,
Well may the warriors in the noisy strife
Win through your prayers, & thank the cloistered life.
(Unpublished poem to Constance Kennard, Hardwicke’s step-cousin, in RR/1/7, Catherine Rawnsley’s Commonplace Book, in the Rawnsley Archives)