immortal as doomed Ophelia
but when Lizzie Siddal lay in that cold tub
she must have empathised with her:
pale, beautiful and feigning death
with so much time to reflect
on the bruises reigning down on her soul
with such melancholia in control.
She fell in love with the painter Rossetti,
an Adonis once before alcohol and drugs
ravaged his body and polluted his mind,
a tragic Victorian romance
and after the heartbreak of a stillborn child,
together with Rossetti's roving eye
she left the horrors of the mortal stage
with laudanum, thirty-two years of age.
In the painting "Regina Cordium"
Lizzie's copper locks fall over a milky neck
with the saddest eyes I've ever seen.
The grief-stricken artist buried his poems
with his lover but years later
infamously reclaimed them from the grave of
the Pre-Raphaelite superstar who lies
in Shakespeare's water with sightless eyes.