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Christina rossetti 3

Christina Georgina Rossetti

POEMS
FOLLOWERS
5

If I might see another Spring
I’d not plant summer flowers and wait:
I’d have my crocuses at once
My leafless pink mezereons,
My chill—veined snow—drops, choicer yet
My white or azure violet,
Leaf—nested primrose; anything
To blow at once, not late.

If I might see another Spring
I’d listen to the daylight birds
That build their nests and pair and sing,
Nor wait for mateless nightingale;
I’d listen to the lusty herds,
The ewes with lambs as white as snow,
I’d find out music in the hail
And all the winds that blow.

If I might see another Spring —
Oh stinging comment on my past
That all my past results in ‘if’ —
If I might see another Spring
I’d laugh today, today is brief
I would not wait for anything:
I’d use today that cannot last,
Be glad today and sing.

Growing in the vale
By the uplands hilly,
Growing straight and frail,
Lady Daffadowndilly.
In a golden crown,
And a scant green gown
While the spring blows chilly,
Lady Daffadown,
Sweet Daffadowndilly.

Who has seen the wind?
Neither I nor you:
But when the leaves hang trembling,
The wind is passing through.

Who has seen the wind?
Neither you nor I:
But when the trees bow down their heads,
The wind is passing by.

2

VI
We lack, yet cannot fix upon the lack:
Not this, nor that; yet somewhat, certainly.
We see the things we do not yearn to see
Around us: and what see we glancing back?
Lost hopes that leave our hearts upon the rack,
Hopes that were never ours yet seem’d to be,
For which we steer’d on life’s salt stormy sea
Braving the sunstroke and the frozen pack.
If thus to look behind is all in vain,
And all in vain to look to left or right,
Why face we not our future once again,
Launching with hardier hearts across the main,
Straining dim eyes to catch the invisible sight,
And strong to bear ourselves in patient pain?

IX
Star Sirius and the Pole Star dwell afar
Beyond the drawings each of other’s strength:
One blazes through the brief bright summer’s length
Lavishing life—heat from a flaming car;
While one unchangeable upon a throne
Broods o’er the frozen heart of earth alone,
Content to reign the bright particular star
Of some who wander or of some who groan.
They own no drawings each of other’s strength,
Nor vibrate in a visible sympathy,
Nor veer along their courses each toward
Yet are their orbits pitch’d in harmony
Of one dear heaven, across whose depth and length
Mayhap they talk together without speech.

But give me holly, bold and jolly,
Honest, prickly, shining holly;
Pluck me holly leaf and berry
For the day when I make merry

Hope new born 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.

O sailor, come ashore,
What have you brought for me?
Red coral, white coral,
Coral from the sea.
I did not dig it from the ground,
Nor pluck it from a tree;
Feeble insects made it
In the stormy sea.

Sleeping at last, the trouble and tumult over,
Sleeping at last, the struggle and horror past,
Cold and white, out of sight of friend and of lover,
Sleeping at last.

No more a tired heart downcast or overcast,
No more pangs that wring or shifting fears that hover,
Sleeping at last in a dreamless sleep locked fast.

Fast asleep. Singing birds in their leafy cover
Cannot wake her, nor shake her the gusty blast.
Under the purple thyme and the purple clover
Sleeping at last.

A house of cards
Is neat and small:
Shake the table,
It must fall.
Find the Court cards
One by one;
Raise it, roof it, —
Now it’s done: —
Shake the table!
That’s the fun.

I sigh at day-dawn, and I sigh
When the dull day is passing by.
I sigh at evening, and again
I sigh when night brings sleep to men.
Oh! it were far better to die
Than thus forever mourn and sigh,
And in death’s dreamless sleep to be
Unconscious that none weep for me;
Eased from my weight of heaviness,
Forgetful of forgetfulness,
Resting from care and pain and sorrow
Thro’ the long night that knows no morrow;
Living unloved, to die unknown,
Unwept, untended, and alone.

Jess and Jill are pretty girls,
Plump and well to do,
In a cloud of windy curls:
Yet I know who
Loves me more than curls or pearls.

I’m not pretty, not a bit—
Thin and sallow—pale;
When I trudge along the street
I don’t need a veil:
Yet I have one fancy hit.

Jess and Jill can trill and sing
With a flute—like voice,
Dance as light as bird on wing,
Laugh for careless joys:
Yet it’s I who wear the ring.

Jess and Jill will mate some day,
Surely, surely:
Ripen on to June through May,
While the sun shines make their hay,
Slacken steps demurely:
Yet even there I lead the way.

Playing at bob cherry
Tom and Nell and Hugh:
Cherry bob! cherry bob!
There’s a bob for you.
Tom bobs a cherry
For gaping snapping Hugh,
While curly—pated Nelly
Snaps at it too.
Look, look, look —
Oh what a sight to see!
The wind is playing cherry bob
With the cherry tree.