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Elizabeth (Lizzie) Siddal: A Year and a Day

Elizabeth (Lizzie) Siddal

(1829-1862)

 

A Year and a Day

Slow days have passed that make a year,

Slow hours that make a day,

Since I could take my first dear love

And kiss him the old way;

Yet the green leaves touch me on the cheek,

Dear Christ, this month of May.

 

I lie among the tall green grass

That bends above my head

And covers up my wasted face

And folds me in its bed

Tenderly and lovingly

Like grass above the dead.

 

Dim phantoms of an unknown ill

Float through my tired brain;

The unformed visions of my life

Pass by in ghostly train;

Some pause to touch me on the cheek,

Some scatter tears like rain.

 

A shadow falls along the grass

And lingers at my feet;

A new face lies between my hands –

Dear Christ, if I could weep

Tears to shut out the summer leaves

When this new face I greet.

 

Still it is but the memory

Of something I have seen

In the dreamy summer weather

When the green leaves came between:

The shadow of my dear love’s face –

So far and strange it seems.

 

The river ever running down

Between its grassy bed,

The voices of a thousand birds

That clang above my head,

Shall bring to me a sadder dream

When this sad dream is dead.

 

A silence falls upon my heart

And hushes all its pain.

I stretch my hands in the long grass

And fall to sleep again,

There to lie empty of all love

Like beaten corn of grain.

 

Elizabeth (Lizzie) Siddal poems

fleursdumal.nl magazine

More in: Archive S-T, Lizzy Siddal, Siddal, Lizzy

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