Lady Sybil With A Mirror In Her Chamber


I will spare him the misery

of suspecting any move, look or mood

that seems unnaturally mine….

     From Confessions of The Bernshaw Tower Bride


She turns before the tilted glass

soft-footed, hair falling

long and light

like the moon shafted

through the wild wood

where she used to run.


Those days now

are the fade of nettles

damp mushrooms and moss.

The disappearance

of a doe’s shadow

that was white, once her own.

Candles respire

at a steady rate. The room calm

and covert with oak shade

awning the windows. She, too,

breathes easier this night

having a husband’s trust

restored He forgave

as she traded ancient spells

for psalms. Tall

and lean-limbed he came,

not as a hunter tracing

the heel marks of a swift hind,

but like a thirsty stag

longing for the clean

tears of her love, the sobbing

of a sorceress

redeemed. He removed

his gloves and took her hand

hearing only the kiss

he issued there


while the cry of swans

crossing overhead

unraveled like thread

from a tight stitch

that might hold a button

or hook. The sky’s

opalescent moon.


update the link below is temporarily out of reach, due to downtown for maintenance and may return soon. I do have a link to my blogsite that explains more about Lady Sibyl, the inspiration for the poem, one that precedes it, and overall what I was trying to achieve with the legend. If anyone is interested, here’s the link

Note — for further reading on the legacy and legend of Lady Sybil of Bernshaw Tower, here’s a link to a 19th

century account of her mysterious character and behavior.














4 replies on “Lady Sybil With A Mirror In Her Chamber”

“the cry of swans

crossing overhead

unraveled like thread

from a tight stitch…”


You cause the reader to hear, to see, to experience.

I visited your blog and read more of Lady Sybil as well
as your other poem about her. Very much enjoyed!

Thanks for being here and thanks for sharing your blog.



Hi Sarah

So glad you enjoyed this poem as well as the one on my blog!! Your kind words and interest in my poetry is very deeply appreciated!! Also, many thanks for the extra time you took to read my blog and comment there as well. That too, is so very much valued!!

Take care
my best always

Liked by 1 person

Hi Sarah
Always good to know my readings work — or at least add some effect to the poem! Thank you so, so much for listening! I deeply appreciate it!

Take care and God Bless!

Liked by 1 person

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