A Year’s Spinning by Elizabeth Barrett Browning

    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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