Lead, kindly Light, amid the encircling gloom

Lead, kindly Light, amid the encircling gloom. John Henry Newman* (1801-1890). Written 16 June 1833 ‘At Sea’, in the Straits of Bonifacio, between Corsica and Sardinia. Newman had been on a visit to the Mediterranean and Rome with his friend Richard Hurrell Froude (1803-36) and Froude’s father. When the Froudes returned to England in April, Newman went to revisit Sicily, where he fell seriously ill, probably of typhoid fever. On his recovery, he had to wait for a boat to take him from Palermo to Marseilles. The poem was written on board ship, as it lay becalmed between Corsica and Sardinia. The narrative of the poem’s composition in the context of Newman’s concerns about the Church of...

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