Life and night are falling from me,
Death and day are opening on me,
Wherever my footsteps come and go,
Life is a stony way of woe.
Lord, have I long to go?
Hallow hearts are ever near me,
Soulless eyes have ceased to cheer me:
Lord may I come to thee?
Life and youth and summer weather
To my heart no joy can gather.
Lord, lift me from life’s stony way!
Loved eyes long closed in death watch for me:
Holy death is waiting for me –
Lord, may I come to-day?
My outward life feels sad and still
Like lilies in a frozen rill;
I am gazing upwards to the sun,
Lord, Lord, remembering my lost one.
O Lord, remember me!
How is it in the unknown land?
Do the dead wander hand in hand?
God, give me trust in thee.
Do we clasp dead hands and quiver
With an endless joy for ever?
Do tall white angels gaze and wend
Along the banks where lilies bend?
Lord, we know not how this may be:
Good Lord we put our faith in thee –
O God, remember me.
Autumn leaves are falling
About her new-made grave
Where the tall grass bends to listen
To the murmur of the wave.
Laden autumn, here I stand
With my sheaves in either hand;
Speak the word that sets me free,
Naught but rest seems good to me.
– Elizabeth Siddal (1829-1862)
Open not thy lips, thou foolish one,
Nor turn to me thy face;
The blasts of heaven shall strike thee down
Ere I will give thee grace.
Take thou thy shadow from my path,
Nor turn to me and pray;
The wild wild winds thy dirge may sing
Ere I will bid thee stay.
Turn thou away thy false dark eyes,
Nor gaze upon my face;
Great love I bore thee: now great hate
Sits grimly in its place.
All changes pass me like a dream,
I neither sing nor pray;
And thou art like the poisonous tree
That stole my life away.
O mother, open the window wide
And let the daylight in;
The hills grow darker to my sight
And thoughts begin to swim.
And mother dear, take my young son,
(Since I was born of thee)
And care for all his little ways
And nurse him on thy knee.
And mother, wash my pale pale hands
And then bind up my feet;
My body may no longer rest
Out of its winding sheet.
And mother dear, take a sapling twig
And green grass newly mown,
And lay them on my empty bed
That my sorrow be not known.
And mother, find three berries red
And pluck them from the stalk,
And burn them at the first cockcrow
That my spirit may not walk.
And mother dear, break a willow wand,
And if the sap be even,
Then save it for sweet Robert?s sake
And he?ll know my soul?s in heaven.
And mother, when the big tears fall,
(And fall, God knows, they may)
Tell him I died of my great love
And my dying heart was gay.
And mother dear, when the sun has set
And the pale kirk grass waves,
Then carry me through the dim twilight
And hide me among the graves.