Wednesday, April 30, 2014

The incomparable Elizabeth Barrett Browning...

   I love this poet so much I named my daughter after her (AlysonRose Elizabeth).


A Dead Rose

O Rose! who dares to name thee?
No longer roseate now, nor soft, nor sweet;
But pale, and hard, and dry, as stubble-wheat,---
Kept seven years in a drawer---thy titles shame thee.

The breeze that used to blow thee
Between the hedgerow thorns, and take away
An odour up the lane to last all day,---
If breathing now,---unsweetened would forego thee.

The sun that used to smite thee,
And mix his glory in thy gorgeous urn,
Till beam appeared to bloom, and flower to burn,---
If shining now,---with not a hue would light thee.

The dew that used to wet thee,
And, white first, grow incarnadined, because
It lay upon thee where the crimson was,---
If dropping now,---would darken where it met thee.

The fly that lit upon thee,
To stretch the tendrils of its tiny feet,
Along thy leaf's pure edges, after heat,---
If lighting now,---would coldly overrun thee.

The bee that once did suck thee,
And build thy perfumed ambers up his hive,
And swoon in thee for joy, till scarce alive,---
If passing now,---would blindly overlook thee.

The heart doth recognise thee,
Alone, alone! The heart doth smell thee sweet,
Doth view thee fair, doth judge thee most complete,---
Though seeing now those changes that disguise thee.

Yes, and the heart doth owe thee
More love, dead rose! than to such roses bold
As Julia wears at dances, smiling cold!---
Lie still upon this heart---which breaks below thee!

                   ~Elizabeth Barrett Browning  

 




A Year's Spinning


1
He listened at the porch that day,
To hear the wheel go on, and on;
And then it stopped, ran back away,
While through the door he brought the sun:
But now my spinning is all done.

2
He sat beside me, with an oath
That love ne'er ended, once begun;
I smiled--believing for us both,
What was the truth for only one:
And now my spinning is all done.

3
My mother cursed me that I heard
A young man's wooing as I spun:
Thanks, cruel mother, for that word--
For I have, since, a harder known!
And now my spinning is all done.

4
I thought--O God!--my first-born's cry
Both voices to mine ear would drown:
I listened in mine agony--
It was the silence made me groan!
And now my spinning is all done.

5
Bury me 'twixt my mother's grave,
(Who cursed me on her death-bed lone)
And my dead baby's (God it save!)
Who, not to bless me, would not moan.
And now my spinning is all done.

6
A stone upon my heart and head,
But no name written on the stone!
Sweet neighbours, whisper low instead,
"This sinner was a loving one--
And now her spinning is all done."

7
And let the door ajar remain,
In case he should pass by anon;
And leave the wheel out very plain,--
That HE, when passing in the sun,
May see the spinning is all done.




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