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Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. (1833–1908). A Victorian Anthology, 1837–1895. 1895.

Lady Mary Montgomerie Currie b. 184–


I KNOW that these poor rags of womanhood,—

This oaten pipe, whereon the wild winds play’d

Making sad music,—tatter’d and outfray’d,

Cast off, play’d out,—can hold no more of good,

Of love, or song, or sense of sun and shade.

What homely neighbors elbow me (hard by

’Neath the black yews) I know I shall not know,

Nor take account of changing winds that blow,

Shifting the golden arrow, set on high

On the gray spire, nor mark who come and go.

Yet would I lie in some familiar place,

Nor share my rest with uncongenial dead,—

Somewhere, maybe, where friendly feet will tread,—

As if from out some little chink of space

Mine eyes might see them tripping overhead.

And though too sweet to deck a sepulchre

Seem twinkling daisy buds, and meadow grass;

And so, would more than serve me, lest they pass

Who fain would know what woman rested there,

What her demeanor, or her story was,—

For these I would that on a sculptur’d stone

(Fenced round with ironwork to keep secure)

Should sleep a form with folded palms demure,

In aspect like the dreamer that was gone,

With these words carv’d, “I hop’d, but was not sure.”