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Short poem

Augusta (Davies) Webster (1837-1894)


              1   No, mother, I am not sad:
              2Why think me sad? I was always still,
              3You remember, even when my heart was most glad
              4And you used to let me dream at my will;
              5And now I like better to watch the sea
              6And the calm sad sky than to laugh with the rest.
              7You know they are full of chatter and glee,
              8   And I like the quietness best.

              9   Nay, mother, you look so grave.
            10I know what you're thinking and will not say;
            11But you need not fear; I am growing brave
            12Now that the pain is passing away,
            13And I never weep for him now when alone,
            14For perhaps it was better--who can tell?--
            15That it ended so. I shall soon be well
            16   Now that the hardest is known.

            17   I am so much stronger to-day
            18I can look at all past and think how it grew
            19And how by degrees it faded away,
            20That light of my life. Ah! when I first knew
            21I had only been a plaything to him
            22Through all my loving, it seemed so strange.
            23If the high noontide at once grew night-dim
            24   It would not be such a change.

            25   I wonder I did not die.
            26Mother, I'll own it you now I am strong,
            27I used to wake in the night and lie
            28Wishing and wishing it might not be long--
            29Oh! it was wicked, and you all so kind,
            30How could I wish to bring you a grief?
            31But too much unhappiness makes one blind
            32   To all but one's own relief.

            33   I am not so wicked now;
            34You need not fear. I am hoping that still,
            35I am learning to lean on God, and I bow,
            36Yes I think I bow my heart to His will.
            37I found it a long hard struggle to make,
            38To clasp my sorrow and say "It is best,"
            39But, believe it, you need not fear for my sake;
            40   Yes, mother, I am at rest:

            41   Yet, listen, if I should die soon--
            42And I know what they say, though you hide it from me--
            43Mother, you'll grant me my last-asked boon,
            44That you'll try not to think it his fault, and if he,
            45Mother, if he should seek you some day,
            46You will not make him a hard reply,
            47But tell him, before I passed away,
            48   I sent him kind good-bye.

            49   Mother, kiss me, do not cry.
            50I could not keep from speaking of this;
            51It is nothing to say "If I should die,"
            52It cannot bring death more near than it is;
            53And I am much stronger. You shall not weep--
            54Who is it tells me that weeping is wrong?
            55But let me lean on your lap and sleep,
            56   I lay waking last night too long.

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: Augusta Webster, A Woman Sold and Other Poems (London and Cambridge: Macmillan, 1867): 129-31. British Library 11647.dd.35
First publication date: 1867
RPO poem editor: Ian Lancashire
RP edition: RPO 2001
Recent editing: 2:2002/2/28

Rhyme: ababcdcd

Other poems by Augusta (Davies) Webster