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Eleanor Agnes Lee

(1841 - 1873)

Her Going


The Wife
Child, why do you linger beside her portal?
None shall hear you now if you knock or clamor*
All is dark, hidden in heaviest leafage.
None shall behold you.

Truth
Gone, gone, the dear, the beautiful lady!
I, her comrade, tarry but to lament her.
Ah, the day of her vanishing all things lovely
Shared in her fleetness!
Tell me her going.

The Wife
You are a child. How tell you?

Truth
I am a child, yet old as the earliest sorrow.
Talk to me as you would to an old, old woman.
I own the ages.

The Wife
Voices, they say, gossipped around her dwelling.
She awoke, departing, they say, in silence.
I am glad she is gone. The old hurt fastens.
Hate is upon me.

It was hard to live down the day, and wonder,
Wonder why the tears were forever welling,
Wonder if on his lips her kiss I tasted
Turning to claim him.

Truth
Jealousy, mad, brooding blind and unfettered,
Takes its terrible leap over lie and malice.
Who shall question her now in the land of shadow?
Who shal1 uphold her?

The Wife
It was hard to know that peace had forsaken
All my house, to greet with a dull endeavor
Babe or book, so to forget a moment
I was forgotten.

Truth
Who shall question her now in the land of shadow,
Question the mute pale lips, and the marble fingers,
Eyelids fallen on eyes grown dim as the autumn?
Ah, the beloved!

The Wife
Go, go, bringer of ache and discord!

Truth
Go I may not. Some, they think to inter me.
Out of the mold and clay my visible raiment
Rises forever.

The Wife
Hers the sin that lured the light from our threshold,
Hers the sin that I lost his love and grew bitter.

Truth
Lost his love? You never possessed it, woman.

The Wife
Sharp tongue, have pity! . . .

Yes, I knew. But I loved him, hoping for all.
I said in my heart: 'Time shall bring buds to blossom.'
I almost saw the flower of the flame descending.
Then she came toying.

He is mine, mine, by the laws of the ages!
Mine, mine, mine yes, body and spirit!
I am glad she has gone her way to the shadow.
Hate is upon me.

Oh, the bar over which my soul would see
All that eludes my soul, while he remembers!
You, dispel if you can my avenging passion
Clouds are before me!

Submitted: Monday, April 19, 2010

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