Death's Chill Between

A poem by Christina Georgina Rossetti

(Athenaeum, October 14, 1848)


Chide not; let me breathe a little,
For I shall not mourn him long;
Though the life-cord was so brittle,
The love-cord was very strong.
I would wake a little space
Till I find a sleeping-place.

You can go, - I shall not weep;
You can go unto your rest.
My heart-ache is all too deep,
And too sore my throbbing breast.
Can sobs be, or angry tears,
Where are neither hopes nor fears?

Though with you I am alone
And must be so everywhere,
I will make no useless moan, -
None shall say 'She could not bear:'
While life lasts I will be strong, -
But I shall not struggle long.

Listen, listen! Everywhere
A low voice is calling me,
And a step is on the stair,
And one comes ye do not see,
Listen, listen! Evermore
A dim hand knocks at the door.

Hear me; he is come again, -
My own dearest is come back.
Bring him in from the cold rain;
Bring wine, and let nothing lack.
Thou and I will rest together,
Love, until the sunny weather.

I will shelter thee from harm, -
Hide thee from all heaviness.
Come to me, and keep thee warm
By my side in quietness.
I will lull thee to thy sleep
With sweet songs: - we will not weep.

Who hath talked of weeping? - Yet
There is something at my heart,
Gnawing, I would fain forget,
And an aching and a smart.
- Ah! my mother, 'tis in vain,
For he is not come again.

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