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Editor's Selection of Poems
Valentine: To Lizzie Siddal

by Dante Gabriel Rossetti

Yesterday was St. Valentine. 
Thought you at all, dear dove divine, 
   Upon the beard in sorry trim 
   And rueful countenance of him, 
That Orson who's your Valentine? 

He daubed, you know, as usual. 
The stick would slip, the brush would fall: 
   Yet daubed he till the lamplighter 
   Set those two seedy flames astir; 
But growled all day at slow St. Paul. 

The bore was heard ere noon; the dun 
Was at the door by half-past one: 
   At least 'tis thought so, but the clock--- 
   No Lizzy there to help its stroke--- 
Struck work before the day begun. 

At length he saw St. Paul's bright orb 
Flash back---the serried tide absorb 
   That burning West which it sucked up, 
   Like wine poured in a water cup;--- 
And one more twilight toned his daub. 

Some time over the fire he sat, 
So lonely that he missed his cat; 
   Then wildly rushed to dine on tick,--- 
   Nine minutes swearing for his stick, 
And thirteen minutes for his hat. 

And now another day is gone: 
Once more that intellectual one 
   Desists from high-minded pursuits, 
   And hungry, staring at his boots, 
Has not the strength to pull them on. 

Come back, dear Liz, and looking wise 
In that arm-chair which suits your size 
   Through some fresh drawing scrape a hole. 
   Your Valentine & Orson's soul 
Is sad for those two friendly eyes.
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