A Year's Spinning

Elizabeth Barrett Browning 1806 (Kelloe) – 1861 (Florence)

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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Submitted on May 13, 2011


Elizabeth Barrett Browning

Elizabeth Barrett Browning was one of the most prominent English poets of the Victorian era. more…

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"A Year's Spinning" Poetry.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2020. Web. 12 Aug. 2020. <https://www.poetry.net/poem/10215/a-year's-spinning>.

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