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Eleanor Farjeon (Элинор Фарджон)


The Reflection


She had no life except to be what men
Required of her to be.
They came for sympathy, and came again
For sympathy.

She never knew the way her heart to spare
When they were hurt or worn,
Whatever one may for another bear
By her was borne.

They said, you give us of yourself so much!
She heard them with a smile,
Knowing she only gave to such and such
Themselves awhile.

Their interests, their frets, their loneliness,
Their sorrows and despairs,
She wore for them--they saw her in no dress
That was not theirs.

She learned to understand the solitudes
When she by none was sought;
Men of themselves grow sick, and in those moods
Needed her not,

Getting relief of others who gave things
By their own purpose lit;
If she too had some freshness in her springs,
None wanted it.

She grew accustomed to be quietly shut
Away, was used to see
Love limping dutifully in a rut
That once ran free;

She knew the signs when friends began to cast
What they had asked her for--
Some asked for much, some little, all at last
Asked nothing more.

And when she died they sorrowed, it is true,
But not for long, because
They had seen some pale reflection that she threw,
Not what she was.



Eleanor Farjeon's other poems:
  1. Three Miles to Penn
  2. Two Choruses from “Merlin in Broceliande”
  3. Sonnets. 12. I hear love answer: Since within the mesh
  4. Sonnets. 14. Now I have love again and life again
  5. “Colin Clout, Come Home again!”


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