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Elizabeth Barrett Browning

(6 March 1806 – 29 June 1861 / Durham / England)

XVIII


I never gave a lock of hair away
To a man, Dearest, except this to thee,
Which now upon my fingers thoughtfully,
I ring out to the full brown length and say
' Take it.' My day of youth went yesterday;
My hair no longer bounds to my foot's glee,
Nor plant I it from rose or myrtle-tree,
As girls do, any more: it only may
Now shade on two pale cheeks the mark of tears,
Taught drooping from the head that hangs aside
Through sorrow's trick. I thought the funeral-shears
Would take this first, but Love is justified,--
Take it thou,--finding pure, from all those years,
The kiss my mother left here when she died.

Submitted: Sunday, May 13, 2001

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