Written by Dante Gabriel Rossetti to Elizabeth Siddal
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, then brush would
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 and Orson’s soul
Is sad for those two friendly eyes.