A Year's Spinning

A poem by Elizabeth Barrett Browning

He listened at the porch that day,
To hear the wheel go on, and on;
And then it stopped, ran back away,
While through the door he brought the sun:
But now my spinning is all done.

He sat beside me, with an oath
That love ne'er ended, once begun;
I smiled, believing for us both,
What was the truth for only one:
And now my spinning is all done.

My mother cursed me that I heard
A young man's wooing as I spun:
Thanks, cruel mother, for that word,
For I have, since, a harder known!
And now my spinning is all done.

I thought, O God! my first-born's cry
Both voices to mine ear would drown:
I listened in mine agony,
It was the silence made me groan!
And now my spinning is all done.

Bury me 'twixt my mother's grave,
(Who cursed me on her death-bed lone)
And my dead baby's (God it save!)
Who, not to bless me, would not moan.
And now my spinning is all done.

A stone upon my heart and head,
But no name written on the stone!
Sweet neighbours, whisper low instead,
"This sinner was a loving one,
And now her spinning is all done."

And let the door ajar remain,
In case he should pass by anon;
And leave the wheel out very plain,
That HE, when passing in the sun,
May see the spinning is all done.

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