Christina Rossetti

POETRY: St. Peter, by Christina Rossetti

May 17, 2017

St. Peter once: “Lord, doest Thou wash my feet?”— Much more I say: Lord, dost Thou stand and knock At my closed heart more rugged than a rock, Bolted and barred, for Thy soft touch unmet, Nor garnished in any wise made sweet? Owls roost within and dancing satyrs mock. Lord, I have heard the crowing of the cock And have not wept: ah, Lord, thou knowest it. Yet still I hear Thee knocking, still I hear: “Open to Me, look on Me eye to eye, That I may wring thy heart and make it whole; And teach thee love because I hold thee dear And sup with thee in gladness soul with soul, And sup with thee in glory by and [...]

POETRY: What Good Shall My Life Do Me?, by Christina Rossetti

May 13, 2017

Have dead men long to wait?— There is a certain term For their bodies to the worm And their souls at Heaven gate. Dust to dust, clod to clod, These precious things of God, Trampled underfoot by man And beast the appointed years.— Their longest life was but a span For change and smiles and tears. Is it worth while to live, Rejoice and grieve, Hope, fear, and die? Man with man, truth with lie, The slow show dwindles by: At last what shall we have Besides a grave?— Lies and shows no more, No fear, no pain, But after hope and sleep Dear joys again. Those who sowed shall reap: Those who bore The Cross shall wear the Crown: Those who clomb the steep There shall sit down. The Shepherd of the sheep Feeds His flock there, In watered pastures [...]

POETRY: Experience Bows A Sweet Contented Face, by Christina Rossetti

May 6, 2017

Experience bows a sweet contented face. Still setting to her seal that God is true: Beneath the sun, she knows, is nothing new; All things that go return with measured pace, Winds, rivers, man’s still recommencing race:— While Hope beyond Earth’s circle strains her view. Past sun and moon, and rain and rainbow too, Enamored of unseen eternal grace. Experience saith, “My God doth all things well”: And for the morrow taketh little care, Such peace and patience garrison her soul:— While Hope, who never yet hath eyes the goal, With arms flung forth, and backward-floating hair. Touches, embraces, hugs the [...]

POETRY: Later Life—A Double Sonnet Of Sonnets, by Christina Rossetti

April 30, 2017

1. Before the mountains were brought forth, before Earth and the world were made, then God was God: And God will still be God, when flames shall roar Round Earth and Heaven dissolving at His nod: And this God is our God, even while His rod Of righteous wrath falls on us smiting sore: And this God is our God for evermore Through life, through death, while clod returns to clod. For though He slay us we will trust in Him; We will flock home to Him by divers ways: Yea, though He slay us we will vaunt His praise, Serving and loving with the Cherubim, Watching and loving with the Seraphim, Our very selves His praise through endless days. 2. Rend hearts and rend not garments for our sins; Gird sackcloth not on body but on soul; Grovel in dust [...]

POETRY: A Christmas Carol, by Christina Rossetti

January 18, 2017

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 midwinter 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 Worshiped the Beloved With a kiss. What can I give him, Poor as I am? If I [...]

POETRY: Called To Be Saints, by Christina Rossetti

October 12, 2016

The lowest place. Ah, Lord, how steep and high That lowest place whereon a saint shall sit! Which of us halting, trembling, pressing nigh, Shall quite attain to it? Yet, Lord, Thou pressest nigh to hail and grace Some happy soul, it may be still unfit For Right Hand or for Left Hand, but whose place Waits there prepared for [...]

POETRY: Who Shall Deliver Me?, by Christina Rossetti

July 27, 2016

God strengthen me to bear myself; That heaviest weight of all to bear, Inalienable weight of care. All others are outside myself; I lock my door and bar them out The turmoil, tedium, gad-about. I lock my door upon myself, And bar them out; but who shall wall Self from myself, most loathed of all? If I could once lay down myself, And start self-purged upon the race That all must run ! Death runs apace. If I could set aside myself, And start with lightened heart upon The road by all men overgone! God harden me against myself, This coward with pathetic voice Who craves for ease and rest and joys; Myself, arch-traitor to myself; My hollowest friend, my deadliest foe, My clog whatever road I go. Yet One there is can curb myself, Can roll the [...]

POETRY: Easter Monday, by Christina Rossetti

March 28, 2016

Out in the rain a world is growing green, On half the trees quick buds are seen Where glued-up buds have been. Out in the rain God’s Acre stretches green, Its harvest quick tho’ still unseen: For there the Life hath been. If Christ hath died His brethren well may die, Sing in the gate of death, lay by This life without a sigh: For Christ hath died and good it is to die; To sleep whenso He lays us by, Then wake without a sigh. Yea, Christ hath died, yea, Christ is risen again: Wherefore both life and death grow plain To us who wax and wane; For Christ who rose shall die no more again: Amen: till He makes all things plain Let us wax on and [...]

POETRY: At Last, by Christina Rossetti

February 3, 2016

Many have sung of love a root of bane: While to my mind a root of balm it is, or love at length breeds love; sufficient bliss For life and death and rising up again. Surely when light of Heaven makes all things plain, Love will grow plain with all its mysteries; Nor shall we need to fetch from over seas Wisdom or wealth or pleasure safe from pain. Love in our borders, love within our heart, Love all in all, we then shall bide at rest, Ended for ever life’s unending quest, Ended for ever effort, change and fear: Love all in all; —no more that better part Purchased, but at the cost of all things [...]

POETRY: Love Loveth Thee, And Wisdom Loveth Thee, by Christina Rossetti

January 7, 2016

Love loveth Thee, and wisdom loveth Thee: The love that loveth Thee sits satisfied; Wisdom that loveth Thee grows million-eyed, Learning what was, and is, and is to be. Wisdom and love are glad of all they see; Their heart is deep, their hope is not denied; They rock at rest on time’s unresting tide, And wait to rest thro’ long eternity. Wisdom and love and rest, each holy soul Hath these today while day is only night: What shall souls have when morning brings to light Love, wisdom, rest, God’s treasure stored above? Palm shall they have, and harp and aureole, Wisdom, rest, love—and lo! the whole is [...]

POETRY: Despised And Rejected, by Christina Georgina Rossetti

December 16, 2015

My sun has set, I dwell In darkness as a dead man out of sight; And none remains, not one, that I should tell To him mine evil plight This bitter night. I will make fast my door That hollow friends may trouble me no more. “Friend, open to Me.”—Who is this that calls? Nay, I am deaf as are my walls: Cease crying, for I will not hear Thy cry of hope or fear. Others were dear, Others forsook me: what art thou indeed That I should heed Thy lamentable need? Hungry should feed, Or stranger lodge thee here? “Friend, My Feet bleed. Open thy door to Me and comfort Me.” I will not open, trouble me no more. Go on thy way footsore, I will not rise and open unto thee. “Then is it nothing to thee? Open, see Who stands to [...]

POETRY: Good Friday, by Christina Rossetti

March 22, 2013

Am I a stone, and not a sheep, That I can stand, O Christ, beneath Thy cross To number drop by drop Thy blood’s slow loss, And yet not weep? Not so those women loved Who with exceeding grief lamented Thee; Not so fallen Peter weeping bitterly; Not so the thief was moved; Not so the Sun and Moon Which hid their faces in a starless sky, A horror of great darkness at broad noon— I, only I. Yet give not o’er, But seek Thy sheep, true Shepherd of the flock; Greater than Moses, turn and look once more And smite a [...]

POETRY: Twice, by Christina Rossetti

December 28, 2012

I took my heart in my hand, (O my love, O my love), I said: Let me fall or stand, Let me live or die, But this once hear me speak (O my love, O my love)— Yet a woman’s words are weak; You should speak, not I. You took my heart in your hand With a friendly smile, With a critical eye you scann’d, Then set it down, And said: “It is still unripe, Better wait awhile; Wait while the skylarks pipe, Till the corn grows brown.” As you set it down it broke— Broke, but I did not wince; I smiled at the speech you spoke, At your judgment I heard: But I have not often smiled Since then, nor question’d since, Nor cared for cornflowers wild, Nor sung with the singing bird. I take my heart in my hand, O my God, O my God, My broken heart in my [...]