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A Year and a Day
Elizabeth Siddal

1      Slow days have passed that make a year,
2             Slow hours that make a day,
3        Since I could take my first dear love
4              And kiss him the old way;
5     Yet the green leaves touch me on the cheek,
6           Dear Christ, this month of May.

7          I lie among the tall green grass
8              That bends above my head
9            And covers up my wasted face
10               And folds me in its bed
11                Tenderly and lovingly
12             Like grass above the dead.

13           Dim phantoms of an unknown ill
14            Float through my tired brain;
15           The unformed visions of my life
16              Pass by in ghostly train;
17        Some pause to touch me on the cheek,
18            Some scatter tears like rain.

19           A shadow falls along the grass
20               And lingers at my feet;
21         A new face lies between my hands –
22            Dear Christ, if I could weep
23         Tears to shut out the summer leaves
24             When this new face I greet.

25             Still it is but the memory
26              Of something I have seen
27            In the dreamy summer weather
28         When the green leaves come between:
29         The shadow of my dear love’s face –
30            So far and strange it seems.

31             The river ever running down
32               Between its grassy bed,
33           The voices of a thousand birds
34              That clang above my head,
35          Shall bring to me a sadder dream
36            When this sad dream is dead.

37            A silence falls upon my heart
38              And hushes all its pain.
39        I stretch my hands in the long grass
40              And fall to sleep again,
41           There to lie empty of all love
42             Like beaten corn of grain.


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