On February 11, 1862 Elizabeth Siddall Rossetti died. I felt it important to commemorate this day in some way, to write about Lizzie and her legacy. . .but I find I am unable to do so. Instead I turn to words far more eloquent than mine could ever be: Lizzie’s own.
Here I share with you “Gone” and “Early Death”. But before leaving, I just wanted to mention that I find it both fitting and, well, a bit eerie that Lizzie shares the date of her death with that of Sylvia Plath, who died on Feb. 11, 1963. Both women had short, often unhappy lives and were still able to share the beauty and poetry of their souls.
To touch the glove upon her tender hand,
To watch the jewel sparkle in her ring,
Lifted my heart into a sudden song
As when the wild birds sing.
To touch her shadow on the sunny grass,
To break her pathway through the darkened wood,
Filled all my life with trembling and tears
And silence where I stood.
I watch the shadows gather round my heart,
I live to know that she is gone
Gone gone for ever, like the tender dove
That left the Ark alone.
Oh grieve not with thy bitter tears
The life that passes fast;
The gates of heaven will open wide
And take me in at last.
Then sit down meekly at my side
And watch my young life flee;
Then solemn peace of holy death
Come quickly unto thee.
But true love, seek me in the throng
Of spirits floating past,
And I will take thee by the hands
And know thee mine at last.
More of Siddal’s poetry, Letters written by Elizabeth Siddal