Caroline Norton was the  granddaughter of the dramatist Richard Brinsley Sheridan; she was an amazing woman who managed to somehow escape from the tyranny of a brutal, bullying husband who separated her from her children. Even when she was no longer his wife, he tried to take the money she earned from her writing. Born in 1808, she changed the lives of many women for the better, campaigning for their rights at a time when women’s suffrage was a distant dream.

Like an enfranchised bird

Like an enfranchised bird, that wildly springs,
With a keen sparkle in his glancing eye,
And a strong effort in his quivering wings,
Up to the blue vault of the happy sky,
So my enamored heart, so long thine own,
At length from Love’s imprisonment set free,
Goes forth into the open world alone,
Glad and exulting in its liberty:
But like that helpless bird (confined so long,
His weary wings have lost all power to soar)
Who soon forgets to trill his joyous song,
And, feebly fluttering, sinks to earth once more,
So from its former bonds released in vain,
My heart still feels the weight of that remembered chain.

Caroline Elizabeth Sarah Sheridan Norton

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