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Marjorie Pickthall (1883-1922)

The Wife


              1Living, I had no might
              2To make you hear,
              3Now, in the inmost night,
              4I am so near
              5No whisper, falling light,
              6Divides us, dear.

              7Living, I had no claim
              8On your great hours.
              9Now the thin candle-flame,
            10The closing flowers,
            11Wed summer with my name, --
            12And these are ours.

            13Your shadow on the dust,
            14Strength, and a cry,
            15Delight, despair, mistrust, --
            16All these am I.
            17Dawn, and the far hills thrust
            18To a far sky.

            19Living, I had no skill
            20To stay your tread,
            21Now all that was my will
            22Silence has said.
            23We are one for good and ill
            24Since I am dead.


Online text copyright © 2003, Ian Lancashire for the Department of English, University of Toronto.
Published by the Web Development Group, Information Technology Services, University of Toronto Libraries.

Original text: Marjorie L. C. Pickthall, The Wood Carver's Wife (Toronto: McClelland and Stewart, 1922): 39-40. PS 8531 I35W6 1922 Robarts Library.
First publication date: June 1921
Publication date note: Smart Set (June 1921).
RPO poem editor: Ian Lancashire
RP edition: RPO 1998.
Recent editing: 2:2002/4/10

Rhyme: ababab


Other poems by Marjorie Pickthall