Verse > Anthologies > > Arthur Quiller-Couch, ed. > The Oxford Book of Victorian Verse
Arthur Quiller-Couch, comp.  The Oxford Book of Victorian Verse.  1922.
By Mary M. Singleton (‘Violet Fane’) (1843–1905)
I KNOW that these poor rags of womanhood—
  This oaten pipe whereon the wild winds play’d
  Making sad music,—tatter’d and outfray’d,
Cast off, play’d out—can hold no more of good,
  Of love or song, or sense of sun and shade.        5
What homely neighbours elbow me (hard by
  ’Neath the black yews) I know I shall not know,
  Nor take account of changing winds that blow
Shifting the golden arrow, set on high
  On the gray spire, nor mark who come and go.        10
Yet would I lie in some familiar place,
  Nor share my rest with uncongenial dead,—
  Somewhere, may be, where friendly feet will tread,—
As if from out some little chink of space
  Mine eyes might see them tripping overhead.        15
And tho’ too sweet to deck a sepulchre
  Seem twinkling daisy-buds and meadow grass;
  And so would more than serve me, lest they pass
Who fain would know what woman rested there,
  What her demeanour or her story was,—        20
For there I would that on a sculptured stone
  (Fenced round with iron-work to keep secure)
  Should sleep a form with folded palms demure,
In aspect like the dreamer that was gone,
  With these words carved, ‘I hoped, but was not sure.’        25

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