106 Chapters
Medium 9781847779731

MIRAGE

Rossetti, Christina Carcanet Press Ltd. ePub

The hope I dreamed of was a dream,

     Was but a dream; and now I wake,

Exceeding comfortless, and worn, and old,

     For a dream’s sake.

I hang my harp upon a tree,

     A weeping willow in a lake;

I hang my silenced harp there, wrung and snapt

     For a dream’s sake.

Lie still, lie still, my breaking heart;

     My silent heart, lie still and break:

Life, and the world, and mine own self are changed

     For a dream’s sake.

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FATA MORGANA

Rossetti, Christina Carcanet Press Ltd. ePub

A blue-eyed phantom far before

     Is laughing, leaping toward the sun:

Like lead I chase it evermore,

     I pant and run.

It breaks the sunlight bound on bound:

     Goes singing as it leaps along

To sheep-bells with a dreamy sound

     A dreamy song.

I laugh, it is so brisk and gay;

     It is so far before, I weep:

I hope I shall lie down some day,

     Lie down and sleep.

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‘ROSES ON A BRIER…’

Rossetti, Christina Carcanet Press Ltd. ePub

Roses on a brier,

    Pearls from out the bitter sea,

Such is earth’s desire

    However pure it be.

Neither bud nor brier,

    Neither pearl nor brine for me:

Be stilled, my long desire;

    There shall be no more sea.

Be stilled, my passionate heart;

    Old earth shall end, new earth shall be:

Be still, and earn thy part

    Where shall be no more sea.

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A CHRISTMAS CAROL

Rossetti, Christina Carcanet Press Ltd. ePub

In the bleak mid-winter

    Frosty wind made moan,

Earth stood hard as iron,

    Water like a stone;

Snow had fallen, snow on snow,

    Snow on snow,

In the bleak mid-winter

    Long ago.

Our God, Heaven cannot hold Him

    Nor earth sustain;

Heaven and earth shall flee away

    When he comes to reign:

In the bleak mid-winter

    A stable-place sufficed

The Lord God Almighty

    Jesus Christ.

Enough for Him, whom cherubim

    Worship night and day,

A breastful of milk

    And a mangerful of hay;

Enough for Him, whom angels

    Fall down before,

The ox and ass and camel

    Which adore.

Angels and archangels

    May have gathered there,

Cherubim and seraphim

    Thronged the air;

But only His mother

    In her maiden bliss

Worshipped the Beloved

    With a kiss.

What can I give Him.

    Poor as I am?

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IS AND WAS

Rossetti, Christina Carcanet Press Ltd. ePub

She was whiter than the ermine

    That half-shadowed neck and hand,

And her tresses were more golden

    Than their golden band;

Snowy ostrich plumes she wore;

Yet I almost loved her more

In the simple time before.

Then she plucked the stately lilies,

Knowing not she was more fair,

And she listened to the skylark

    In the morning air.

Then, a kerchief all her crown,

She looked for the acorns brown,

Bent their bough, and shook them down.

Then she thought of Christmas holly

And the Maybloom in sweet May;

Then she loved to pick the cherries

    And to turn the hay.

She was humble then and meek,

And the blush upon her cheek

Told of much she could not speak.

Now she is a noble lady

With calm voice not overloud

Very courteous in her action,

    Yet you think her proud;

Much too haughty to affect;

Too indifferent to direct

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