I Never Gave A Lock Of Hair Away

By Elizabeth Barrett Browning

I NEVER gave a lock of hair away
To a man, Dearest, except this to thee,
Which now upon my fingers thoughtfully
I ring out to the full brown length and say
“Take it.” My day of youth went yesterday; 5
My hair no longer bounds to my foot’s glee.
Nor plant I it from rose or myrtle tree,
As girls do, any more. It only may
Now shade on two pale cheeks, the mark of tears,
Taught drooping from the head that hangs aside 10
Through sorrow’s trick. I thought the funeral shears
Would take this first, but Love is justified,—
Take it thou,… finding pure, from all those years,
The kiss my mother left here when she died.

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