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This black pen-and-ink half-page illustration is outlined in a narrow double border, centered above the text of the poem “My Lady of Pain.” In the extreme foreground, a leafy outcrop partially obscures a river, which leads to the sea. The river passes under an arched bridge, which joins two sides of a large castle, made up of many buildings and towers. On either side of the river, tall banks are dotted with trees and brush. In the far distance, ships sail on the sea. The artist’s signature is in the bottom right corner of the frame. Below the image, the image’s title is printed “Chateau de Garde.”

CHATEAU DE GARDE.

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.

4

                              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.

                                                                        Alix Egerton.

MLA citation:

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/