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

William Bell Scott 1811–90

My Mother

THERE was a gather’d stillness in the room:

Only the breathing of the great sea rose

From far off, aiding that profound repose,

With regular pulse and pause within the gloom

Of twilight, as if some impending doom

Was now approaching;—I sat moveless there,

Watching with tears and thoughts that were like prayer,

Till the hour struck,—the thread dropp’d from the loom;

And the Bark pass’d in which freed souls are borne.

The dear still’d face lay there; that sound forlorn

Continued; I rose not, but long sat by:

And now my heart oft hears that sad seashore,

When she is in the far-off land, and I

Wait the dark sail returning yet once more.