Poems by Christina Georgina Rossetti

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There are sleeping dreams and waking dreams;
I have no wit, no words, no tears;
It's a year almost that I have not seen her:
'Croak, croak, croak,'
My heart is like a singing bird
Through the vales to my love!
I will accept thy will to do and be,
"Love brought Me down; and cannot love make thee
What can lambkins do
In the bleak mid-winter
A fool I was to sleep at noon,
Why were you born when the snow was falling?
Once in a dream (for once I dreamed of you)
The year stood at its equinox
The soonest mended, nothing said;
"And singing still dost soar, and soaring ever singest."
Woman was made for man's delight, -
A night was near, a day was near;
Never on this side of the grave again,
Inner not outer, without gnash of teeth
Sonnets are full of love, and this my tome
I looked for that which is not, nor can be,
Strike the bells wantonly,
I
Does that lamp still burn in my Father's house,
Jess and Jill are pretty girls,
At morn I plucked a rose and gave it Thee,
I, a princess, king-descended, decked with jewels, gilded, drest,
(Macmillan's Magazine, May 1868.)
While we slumber and sleep,
Live all thy sweet life thro',
I said of laughter: it is vain.
Three sang of love together: one with lips
A robin said: The Spring will never come,
On the wind of January
This Advent moon shines cold and clear,
Why should I call Thee Lord, Who art my God?
The curtains were half drawn, the floor was swept
As eager homebound traveller to the goal,
They are flocking from the East
All.
It is over. What is over?
(The Shilling Magazine, 1865.)
Life flows down to death; we cannot bind
I plucked pink blossoms from mine apple-tree
Spring bursts to-day,
Love, strong as Death, is dead.
In my Autumn garden I was fain
..."Una selva oscura." - Dante.
If I might see another Spring
When I was dead, my spirit turned
Many have sung of love a root of bane:
I dwell alone - I dwell alone, alone,
(Macmillan's Magazine, November 1868.)
While roses are so red,
While roses are so red,
(Lyra Messianica, 1864.)
1.
Shall Christ hang on the Cross, and we not look?
A lowly hill which overlooks a flat,
Did any bird come flying
The sunrise wakes the lark to sing,
Summer is gone with all its roses,
"If you'll busk you as a bride
Oh fair Milly Brandon, a young maid, a fair maid!
A dancing Bear grotesque and funny
A million buds are born that never blow,
Why does the sea moan evermore?
B.C. 570
I wish you were a pleasant wren,
'Oh happy happy land!
1.
(Lyra Eucharistica, second edition, 1864.)
(Lyra Eucharistica, 1863.)
As rivers seek the sea,
(Macmillan's Magazine, Jan. 1866.)
Flowers preach to us if we will hear: -
I was a cottage maiden
A dream that waketh,
Oh why is heaven built so far,
Ah! changed and cold, how changed and very cold,
(Macmillan's Magazine, May 1868.)
(Athenaeum, October 14, 1848)
The Spring spreads one green lap of flowers
My sun has set, I dwell
I love and love not: Lord, it breaks my heart
Where sunless rivers weep
Young Love lies sleeping
(Lyra Messianica, 1864.)
Come to me in the silence of the night;
She came among us from the South
'While I sit at the door
Many a flower hath perfume for its dower,
A blue-eyed phantom far before
The splendor of the kindling day,
Wearied of sinning, wearied of repentance,
Such a hubbub in the nests,
The first was like a dream through summer heat,
Go from me, summer friends, and tarry not:
Morning and evening
The buttercup is like a golden cup,
There is silence that saith, "Ah me!"
O happy rose-bud blooming
Am I a stone and not a sheep
I loved my love from green of Spring
"Should one of us remember,
(Athenaeum, October 21, 1848)
(Macmillan's Magazine, March 1866.)
There's no replying
(Lyra Messianica, 1864.)
Weary and weak, - accept my weariness;
I am pale with sick desire,
(The Argosy, March 1866.)
If I might only love my God and die!
- Proverbs xxiv. 11, 12.
June 8, 1857
I sat beneath a willow tree,
Dear Lord, let me recount to Thee
To come back from the sweet South, to the North
'Jessie, Jessie Cameron,
(Lyra Eucharistica, second edition, 1864.)
FOUNDED ON AN ANECDOTE OF THE FIRST FRENCH REVOLUTION.
'Whose heart was breaking for a little love.'
You must not call me Maggie, you must not call me Dear,
(Macmillan's Magazine, May 1865.)
1.
Life is not sweet. One day it will be sweet
'Oh, sad thy lot before I came,
Thou who didst hang upon a barren tree,
I had a love in soft south land,
"I have not sought Thee, I have not found Thee,
Love that is dead and buried, yesterday
Beautiful, tender, wasting away for sorrow;
You must not call me Maggie, you must not call me Dear,
Maiden May sat in her bower,
Long ago and long ago,
Not for me marring or making,
We meet in joy, though we part in sorrow;
A SONG FOR ALL MARIES.
Out of the church she followed them
I cannot tell you how it was;
Poor the pleasure
I
The hope I dreamed of was a dream,
The mystery of Life, the mystery
Beatrice, immortalized by "altissimo poeta ... cotanto amante;" Laura, celebrated by a great though an inferior bard, - have alike paid the exceptional penalty of exceptional honor, and have come down to us resplendent with charms, but (at least, to
(Macmillan's Magazine, March 1868.)
Hear now a curious dream I dreamed last night
(Macmillan's Magazine, Dec. 1864.)
I tell my secret? No indeed, not I:
I never said I loved you, John:
'Now did you mark a falcon,
Lord, I am waiting, weeping, watching for Thee:
1
Once in a dream (for once I dreamed of you)
(Margaret.)
Vanity of vanities, the Preacher saith,
I will tell you when they met:
"Oh tell me once and tell me twice
Unmindful of the roses,
(Lyra Messianica, second edition, 1865.)
(Lyra Eucharistica, second edition, 1865.)
All things that pass
A boat amid the ripples, drifting, rocking,
The flowers that bloom in sun and shade
Remember me when I am gone away,
(Art and Poetry [The Germ, No. 3], March 1850)
O Earth, lie heavily upon her eyes;
From depth to height, from height to loftier height,
It's oh in Paradise that I fain would be,
(Macmillan's Magazine, Dec. 1866.)
Shall I forget on this side of the grave?
The door was shut. I looked between
Who told my mother of my shame,
(Macmillan's Magazine, March 1864.)
Sound the deep waters: -
(1674.)
Somewhere or other there must surely be
Oh roses for the flush of youth,
Two doves upon the selfsame branch,
She sat and sang alway
When I am dead, my dearest,
Oh what comes over the sea,
A song in a cornfield
Some are laughing, some are weeping;
Frost-locked all the winter,
Gone were but the Winter,
Winter is cold-hearted
To think that this meaningless thing was ever a rose
The sweetest blossoms die.
I watched a rosebud very long
"Thou whom I love, for whom I died,
Lovely Spring,
Underneath the growing grass,
There's blood between us, love, my love,
Is this the Face that thrills with awe
I wonder if the sap is stirring yet,
'There's a footstep coming: look out and see,'
BRIDE
Where are the songs I used to know,
The upland flocks grew starved and thinned:
I bore with thee long weary days and nights,
Give me the lowest place: not that I dare
Like flowers sequestered from the sun
Who calleth? - Thy Father calleth,
PERSONIFICATIONS.
(Lyra Eucharistica, 1863.)
Vanity of vanities, the Preacher saith,
'Oh whence do you come, my dear friend, to me,
Till all sweet gums and juices flow,
How comes it, Flora, that, whenever we
1.
THE FLESH
By day she woos me, soft, exceeding fair:
Wintry boughs against a wintry sky;
(Macmillan's Magazine, March 1869.)
'A cup for hope!' she said,
All her corn-fields rippled in the sunshine,
Long have I longed, till I am tired
She sitteth still who used to dance,
"Arise, depart, for this is not your rest."
Because you never yet have loved me, dear,
I took my heart in my hand
Oh, pleasant eventide!
(The Argosy, March 1866.)
'The iniquity of the fathers upon the children.'
When will the day bring its pleasure?
Does the road wind up-hill all the way?
Ah, woe is me for pleasure that is vain,
I marked where lovely Venus and her court
I would have gone; God bade me stay:
What would I give for a heart of flesh to warm me through,
What would I give for a heart of flesh to warm me through,
Why has Spring one syllable less
"O Lord, how canst Thou say Thou lovest me?
(The Argosy, Feb. 1866.)
Lord, if I love Thee and Thou lovest me,
Pardon the faults in me,
Every valley drinks,
I tell my secret? No indeed, not I:
(Lyra Eucharistica, second edition, 1865.)
I dreamed and did not seek: to-day I seek

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