Verse > Anthologies > Alfred H. Miles, ed. > Women Poets of the Nineteenth Century
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Alfred H. Miles, ed.  Women Poets of the Nineteenth Century.  1907.
 
Ghost-Bereft (1901)
III. A Long Day
By Jane Barlow (1857–1917)
 
(A Villanelle)

I’M thinking all this day she may be dead,
(The holly-laden child that slum-ward hies),
Because I took away her bit of bread.
She’d hid it in the wall beside her head,
That she might reach it easily where she lies:        5
I’m thinking all this day she may be dead
For want of it. ’Twas but a little shred,
But, ah, she’s weak, and if she starves and dies
Because I took away her bit of bread,
I’ll wish I’d choked. For since good-bye we said,        10
And then the cold was dark, before sunrise,
I’m thinking all this day she may be dead.
But here’s a penny at last, and now instead
I’ll bring the very biggest roll it buys,
Because I took away her bit of bread,        15
Straight home to her, that’s waiting safe in bed,
No fear. Yet till I’ve seen her with my eyes,
I’m thinking all this day she may be dead,
Because I took away her bit of bread.
 
 
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