Elizabeth Drew Barstow Stoddard


Before the Mirror

Now like the Lady of Shalott,
I dwell within an empty room,
And through the day and through the night
I sit before an ancient loom.

And like the Lady of Shalott
I look into a mirror wide,
Where shadows come, and shadows go,
And ply my shuttle as they glide.

Not as she wove the yellow wool,
Ulysses’ wife, Penelope;
By day a queen among her maids,
But in the night a woman, she,

Nameless Pain

I should be happy with my lot:
A wife and mother – is it not
Enough for me to be content?
What other blessing could be sent?

A quiet house, and homely ways,
That make each day like other days;
I only see Time’ s shadow now
Darken the hair on baby’ s brow!

No world’ s work ever comes to me,
No beggar brings his misery;
I have no power, no healing art
With bruised soul or broken heart.