View Full Version : A poem from a book I got for Christmas...

December 29th, 2010, 07:50 AM
Thought you guys might appreciate this:

[“After the death of Dean Swift, there was found among his papers
a small packet containing a single lock of hair and inscribed with
the above words.”]

“ONLY a woman’s hair!” Fling it aside!

A bubble on Life’s mighty stream:
Heed it not, man, but watch the broadening tide
Bright with the western beam.
Nay! In those words there rings from other years
The echo of a long low cry,
Where a proud spirit wrestles with its tears
In loneliest agony.
And, as I touch that lock, strange visions throng
Upon my soul with dreamy grace
Of woman’s hair, the theme of poet’s song
In every time and place.
A child’s bright tresses, by the breezes kissed
To sweet disorder as she flies,
Veiling, beneath a cloud of golden mist,
Flushed cheek and laughing eyes
Or fringing, like a shadow, raven-black,
The glory of a queen-like face
Or from a gipsy’s sunny brow tossed back
In wild and wanton grace
Or crown-like on the hoary head of Age,
Whose tale of life is well-nigh told
Or, last, in dreams I make my
pilgrimage To Bethany of old.
I see the feast- the purple and the gold;
The gathering crowd of
Pharisees, Whose scornful eyes are centred to behold
Yon woman
on her knees.


The stifled sob rings strangely on mine ears,
Wrung from the depth
of sin’s despair:
And still she bathes the sacred feet with tears,
And wipes them with her hair.

He scorned not then the simple loving deed
Of her, the lowest and the last;
Then scorn not thou, but use with earnest heed
This relic of the past.
The eyes that loved it once no longer wake:
So lay it by with reverent care
touching it tenderly for sorrow’s sake
It is a woman’s hair.

Feb. 17, 1862.

December 29th, 2010, 07:59 AM
Great find, Quixotica!

What a powerful ode to hair.

I especially like "ONLY a woman's hair" -- the classic "it's just hair" line. :)

Thanks for sharing.

December 29th, 2010, 08:07 AM
I found that very touching... Lots of different imagery in one small package. That's definitely a keeper. :)

December 29th, 2010, 08:41 AM
That's beautiful. There's so much in there.

December 29th, 2010, 10:13 AM
Thanks for sharing.

... I found some of GreyCat's fur not long ago, he's been dead 2 years and I about cried my eyes out when I realized what I was holding. I forgot I'd saved it. There's something really intimate and close about hair/fur.

December 29th, 2010, 10:49 AM
Wonderful; thanks for sharing.