Elizabeth Barrett-Browning

A Year's Spinning

He listened at the porch that day,
    To hear the wheel go on, and on;
And then it stopped, ran back away,
    While through the door he brought the sun:
    But now my spinning is all done.

He sat beside me, with an oath
    That love ne'er ended, once begun;
I smiled—believing for us both,
    What was the truth for only one:
    And now my spinning is all done.

My mother cursed me that I heard
    A young man's wooing as I spun:
Thanks, cruel mother, for that word—
    For I have, since, a harder known!
    And now my spinning is all done.

I thought—O God!—my first-born's cry
    Both voices to mine ear would drown:
I listened in mine agony—
    It was the silence made me groan!
    And now my spinning is all done.

Bury me 'twixt my mother's grave,
    (Who cursed me on her death-bed lone)
And my dead baby's (God it save!)
    Who, not to bless me, would not moan.
    And now my spinning is all done.

A stone upon my heart and head,
    But no name written on the stone!
Sweet neighbours, whisper low instead,
    "This sinner was a loving one—
    And now her spinning is all done."

And let the door ajar remain,
    In case he should pass by anon;
And leave the wheel out very plain,—
    That HE, when passing in the sun,
    May see the spinning is all done.

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