106 Slices
Medium 9781847779731

THE LAST LOOK

Rossetti, Christina Carcanet Press Ltd. ePub

Her face was like an opening rose,

     So bright to look upon:

But now it is like fallen snows,

     As cold, as dead, as wan.

Heaven lit with stars is more like her

     Than is the empty crust:

Deaf, dumb, and blind, it cannot stir,

     But crumbles back to dust.

No flower be taken from her bed

     For me, no lock be shorn:

I give her up, the early dead,

     The dead, the newly born.

If I remember her, no need

     Of formal tokens set;

Of hollow token-lies indeed

     No need, if I forget.

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A DUMB FRIEND

Rossetti, Christina Carcanet Press Ltd. ePub

I planted a young tree when I was young:

But now the tree is grown and I am old:

There wintry robin shelters from the cold

       And tunes his silver tongue.

A green and living tree I planted it,

A glossy-foliaged tree of evergreen:

All through the noontide heat it spread a screen

       Whereunder I might sit.

But now I only watch it where it towers:

I, sitting at my window, watch it tost

By rattling gale or silvered by the frost;

       Or, when sweet summer flowers,

Wagging its round green head with stately grace

In tender winds that kiss it and go by.

It shows a green full age: and what show I?

       A faded wrinkled face.

So often have I watched it, till mine eyes

Have filled with tears and I have ceased to see,

That now it seems a very friend to me,

       In all my secrets wise.

A faithful pleasant friend, who year by year

Grew with my growth and strengthened with my strength,

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SEASONS

Rossetti, Christina Carcanet Press Ltd. ePub

In Springtime when the leaves are young,

Clear dewdrops gleam like jewels, hung

On boughs the fair birds roost among.

When Summer comes with sweet unrest,

Birds weary of their mother’s breast,

And look abroad and leave the nest.

In Autumn ere the waters freeze,

The swallows fly across the seas:–

If we could fly away with these!

In Winter when the birds are gone,

The sun himself looks starved and wan,

And starved the snow he shines upon.

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PASTIME

Rossetti, Christina Carcanet Press Ltd. ePub

A boat amid the ripples, drifting, rocking;

Two idle people, without pause or aim;

While in the ominous West there gathers darkness

        Flushed with flame.

A hay-cock in a hay-field, backing, lapping;

Two drowsy people pillowed round-about;

While in the ominous West across the darkness

        Flame leaps out.

Better a wrecked life than a life so aimless,

Better a wrecked life than a life so soft:

The ominous West glooms thundering, with its fire

        Lit aloft.

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DEAD HOPE

Rossetti, Christina Carcanet Press Ltd. ePub

Hope newborn one pleasant morn

    Died at even:

Hope dead lives nevermore,

    No not in heaven.

If his shroud were but a cloud

    To weep itself away–

Or were he buried underground

    To sprout some day!

But dead and gone is dead and gone,

    Vainly wept upon.

Nought we place above his face

    To mark the spot,

But it shows a barren place

    In our lot.

Hope has birth no more on earth

    Morn or even;

Hope dead lives nevermore,

    No not in heaven.

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