A Year and a Day

Original Text: 
Poems and Drawings of Elizabeth Siddal, ed. Roger C. Lewis and Mark Samuels Lasner (Wolfville, N.S.: Wombat Press, 1978): 16-17. B-11 5641 Fisher Rare Books Library
1Slow days have passed that make a year,
2    Slow hours that make a day,
3Since I could take my first dear love
4    And kiss him the old way;
5Yet the green leaves touch me on the cheek,
6    Dear Christ, this month of May.
7I lie among the tall green grass
8    That bends above my head
9And covers up my wasted face
10    And folds me in its bed
11Tenderly and lovingly
12    Like grass above the dead.
13Dim phantoms of an unknown ill
15The unformed visions of my life
16    Pass by in ghostly train;
17Some pause to touch me on the cheek,
18    Some scatter tears like rain.
20    And lingers at my feet;
21A new face lies between my hands --
22    Dear Christ, if I could weep
23Tears to shut out the summer leaves
24    When this new face I greet.
25Still it is but the memory
26    Of something I have seen
27In the dreamy summer weather
28    When the green leaves came between:
29The shadow of my dear love's face --
30    So far and strange it seems.
31The river ever running down
32    Between its grassy bed,
33The voices of a thousand birds
34    That clang above my head,
35Shall bring to me a sadder dream
36    When this sad dream is dead.
37A silence falls upon my heart
38    And hushes all its pain.
39I stretch my hands in the long grass
40    And fall to sleep again,
41There to lie empty of all love
42    Like beaten corn of grain.

Notes

14] tired: `tiring' in 1895. Back to Line
19] Lines 19-30 are not in 1895. Back to Line
Publication Start Year: 
1895
Publication Notes: 
Dante Gabriel Rossetti: his Family-letters, with a Memoir by William Michael Rossetti (London: Ellis and Elvey, 1895): I, 176-77. PR 5246 A4 1895 Robarts Library
RPO poem Editors: 
Ian Lancashire
RPO Edition: 
2001
Rhyme: