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Deserted

No, mother, I am not sad:
Why think me sad? I was always still,
You remember, even when my heart was most glad
And you used to let me dream at my will;
And now I like better to watch the sea
And the calm sad sky than to laugh with the rest.
You know they are full of chatter and glee,
And I like the quietness best.

Nay, mother, you look so grave.
I know what you're thinking and will not say;
But you need not fear; I am growing brave
Now that the pain is passing away,
And I never weep for him now when alone,
For perhaps it was better -- who can tell? --
That it ended so. I shall soon be well
Now that the hardest is known.

I am so much stronger to-day
I can look at all past and think how it grew
And how by degrees it faded away,
That light of my life. Ah! when I first knew
I had only been a plaything to him
Through all my loving, it seemed so strange.
If the high noontide at once grew night-dim
It would not be such a change.

I wonder I did not die.
Mother, I'll own it you now I am strong,
I used to wake in the night and lie
Wishing and wishing it might not be long --
Oh! it was wicked, and you all so kind,
How could I wish to bring you a grief?
But too much unhappiness makes one blind
To all but one's own relief.

I am not so wicked now;
You need not fear. I am hoping that still,
I am learning to lean on God, and I bow,
Yes I think I bow my heart to His will.
I found it a long hard struggle to make,
To clasp my sorrow and say "It is best,"
But, believe it, you need not fear for my sake;
Yes, mother, I am at rest:

Yet, listen, if I should die soon --
And I know what they say, though you hide it from me --
Mother, you'll grant me my last-asked boon,
That you'll try not to think it his fault, and if he,
Mother, if he should seek you some day,
You will not make him a hard reply,
But tell him, before I passed away,
I sent him kind good-bye.

Mother, kiss me, do not cry.
I could not keep from speaking of this;
It is nothing to say "If I should die,"
It cannot bring death more near than it is;
And I am much stronger. You shall not weep --
Who is it tells me that weeping is wrong?
But let me lean on your lap and sleep,
I lay waking last night too long.

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

2:22 min read
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Augusta Davies Webster

Augusta Webster born in Poole, Dorset as Julia Augusta Davies, was an English poet, dramatist, essayist, and translator. The daughter of Vice-admiral George Davies and Julia Hume, she spent her younger years on board the ship he was stationed, the Griper. She studied Greek at home, taking a particular interest in Greek drama, and went on to study at the Cambridge School of Art. She published her first volume of poetry in 1860 under the pen name Cecil Homes. In 1863, she married Thomas Webster, a fellow at Trinity College, Cambridge. They had a daughter, Augusta Georgiana, who married Reverend George Theobald Bourke, a younger son of the Joseph Bourke, 3rd Earl of Mayo. Much of Webster's writing explored the condition of women, and she was a strong advocate of women's right to vote, working for the London branch of the National Committee for Women's Suffrage. She was the first female writer to hold elective office, having been elected to the London School Board in 1879 and 1885. In 1885 she travelled to Italy in an attempt to improve her failing health. She died on 5 September 1894, aged 57. During her lifetime her writing was acclaimed and she was considered by some the successor to Elizabeth Barrett Browning. After her death, however, her reputation quickly declined. Since the mid-1990s she has gained increasing critical attention from scholars such as Isobel Armstrong, Angela Leighton, and Christine Sutphin. Her best-known poems include three long dramatic monologues spoken by women: A Castaway, Circe, and The Happiest Girl In The World, as well as a posthumously published sonnet-sequence, "Mother and Daughter". more…

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