The Woeful Victory

ELIZABETH SIDDAL; The Woeful Victory
Be still.

It is evening.

I almost recognized you; who are you

Fair one?

Your mouth is stuffed with poppy hair;

Fate lies coiled between your breasts

Like a snake. But

Your tongue’s torn out.

You are the echo of my thoughts.

(I am the motionless cradle.)

Your flesh takes fire from my setting sun.

Will you free me, O Lady of the Sundial?

My eyes are growing dim.

(Perfect love’s not found this side of heaven.)

I shall paint you vermilion

Butcher nightingales and use their tongues for brushes

Melt you foil & verdigris

to the tune of Canterbury bells.

Stay awhile, Fair one.

I almost thought you spoke.

(I am the face rising from the pool

to drag the drinker deep.)

I am not whole, dear lady.

I am not myself.

Who are You?

(I am thyself. What hast thou done to me?)

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