Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, A SISTER OF SORROW: 3. WEDDING-EVE, by GORDON BOTTOMLEY

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Classic and Contemporary Poetry

A SISTER OF SORROW: 3. WEDDING-EVE, by                     Poet's Biography
First Line: Gown and veil and bride-bed linen
Last Line: "your tomb or his, 'tis one to me."
Subject(s): Marriage; Weddings; Husbands; Wives

"GOWN and veil and bride-bed linen,
Sewn by your fingers, mother of me:
A bridal veil to hide my sin in,
Sign of my whited virginity.

"You killed the man who loved me well,
Grave-chilled mother, mother of me:
You said our baby found life in Hell --
'Still-born, still-born' you said in glee.

"I know its grave by the orchard wall.
Why do you weep there, mother of me?
The sods where the grass grew coarse and tall
Are trodden bare: folk wonder why.

"Was I drowned in pain so utterly
(Lift your eyelids, mother of me)
That I missed hearing its only cry
When it breathed twice upon your knee?

"What did you with your bony hands
(Give me my baby, mother of me)
That rigidly crush my wasted hands?
They're not a child's neck; let them be.

"And all to make me the Earl's wife:
Knows he the dower, O mother of me?
But I forget the feeling of life --
Your tomb or his, 'tis one to me."

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