Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE OTHER SIDE OF A MIRROR, by MARY ELIZABETH COLERIDGE

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Classic and Contemporary Poetry

THE OTHER SIDE OF A MIRROR, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: I sat before my glass one day
Last Line: "that heard me whisper, ""I am she!"
Alternate Author Name(s): Anodos
Subject(s): Absence; Separation; Isolation

I sat before my glass one day,
And conjured up a vision bare,
Unlike the aspects glad and gay,
That erst were found reflected there --
The vision of a woman, wild
With more than womanly despair.

Her hair stood back on either side
A face bereft of loveliness.
It had no envy now to hide
What once no man on earth could guess.
It formed the thorny aureole
Of hard unsanctified distress.

Her lips were open -- not a sound
Came through the part lines of red.
Whate'er it was, the hideous wound
In silence and in secret bled.
No sigh relieved her speechless woe,
She had no voice to speak her dread.

And in her lurid eyes there shone
The dying flame of life's desire,
Made mad because its hope was gone,
And kindled at the leaping fire
Of jealousy, and fierce revenge,
And strength that could not change nor tire.

Shade of a shadow in the glass,
O set the crystal surface free!
Pass -- as the fairer visions pass --
Nor ever more return, to be
The ghost of a distract hour,
That heard me whisper, "I am she!"

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