This verse-novel tells the story of a female writer, balancing work and love. It is and based on Elizabeth's own experiences.
Excerpt from Aurora Leigh: A Poem in Nine Books
Of writing many books there is no end;
And I, who have written much in prose and verse
For others' uses, will write now for mine, -
Will write my story for my better self,
As when you paint your portrait for a friend,
Who keeps it in a drawer, and looks at it
Long after he has ceased to love you, just
To hold together what he was and is.
I, writing thus, am still what men call young
I have not so far left the coasts of life
To travel inland, that I cannot hear
That murmur of the outer Infinite
Which unweaned babies smile at in their sleep
When wondered at for smiling; not so far,
But still I catch my mother at her post
Beside the nursery-door, with finger up,
"Hush, hush, here's too much noise!" while her sweet eyes
Leap forward, taking part against her word
In the child's riot. Still I sit, and feel
My father's slow hand, when she has left us both,
Stroke out my childish curls across his knee,
And hear Assunta's daily jest (she knew
He liked it better than a better jest)
Inquire how many golden scudi went
To make such ringlets. O my father's hand,
Stroke heavily, heavily, the poor hair down,
Draw, press the child's head closer to thy knee!
I'm still too young, too young, to sit alone.