MY LADY OF PAIN.
Pale as the moonlight on the sea, was
My Lady of Pain,
And, Oh, the grief in her haunting eyes,
Tear-wet and grey as are April skies,
Gazing each evening so mournful wise
On the distant plain.
The Green Sheaf
But the terraced walks and soft green lawns
Would her eyes pass by,
To there, where the rolling forest-land
Stretched out and away on either hand
To the plain which lay like a purple band
’Gainst the sunset sky.
She sat by the window looking west
At the twilight hour,
She held her knees in a long embrace
The shadows slanting across her face
Of the window-bars of this prison-place
In the castle tower.
In the closing dusk her eyes looked dark
As the purple sloe,
While a golden circlet bound her hair
Back from her brow, which was wondrous fair.
In the shadowed depths of her eyelids, there
Did she hide her woe.
Her lips were scarlet and spake no word
Of her heart’s distress;
And her neck was hung with chains of gold,
With gems of beauty and worth untold,
Half hidden in many a silken fold
Of her flowing dress.
So still she sat in the carven chair
In the growing gloom,
The lines of the arras never stirred
No sound of movement was ever heard,
Not a sigh or even a whispered word
In that silent room.
Some said her lover had played her false.
But their words were vain;
The deathless grief was, alas, her lot,
The longest pain in this life begot,
Pity her, love her, but blame her not,
My Lady of Pain.
Egerton, Alix. “My Lady of Pain,” illustrated by W.T. Horton. The Green Sheaf, No. 9, 1904, pp. 4-5. Green Sheaf Digital Edition, edited by Lorraine Janzen Kooistra, Yellow Nineties 2.0, Toronto Metropolitan University Centre for Digital Humanities, 2022. https://1890s.ca/GSV9-egerton-lady/