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Two Poems by Christina Rossetti

Song

When I am dead, my dearest,

Sing no sad songs for me;

Plant thou no roses at my head,

Nor shady cypress tree:

Be the green grass above me

With showers and dewdrops wet;

And if thou wilt, remember,

And if thou wilt, forget.

I shall not see the shadows,

I shall not feel the rain;

I shall not hear the nightingale

Sing on, as if in pain:

And dreaming through the twilight

That doth not rise nor set,

Haply I may remember,

And haply may forget.

Remember

Remember me when I am gone away,

Gone far away into the silent land;

When you can no more hold me by the hand,

Nor I half turn to go yet turning stay.

Remember me when no more day by day

You tell me of our future that you plann’d:

Only remember me; you understand

It will be late to counsel then or pray.

Yet if you should forget me for a while

And afterwards remember, do not grieve:

For if the darkness and corruption leave

A vestige of the thoughts that once I had,

Better by far you should forget and smile

Than that you should remember and be sad.

Christina Georgina Rossetti (1830–1894) was one of the leading poets of Victorian England. Deeply religious, she was opposed to slavery, war, animal research, and the exploitation of women. From 1859 to 1870 she served as a volunteer at a refuge for former prostitutes. The portrait of Christina Rossetti is by her brother, Dante Gabriel Rossetti, a founding member of the avant-garde Pre-Raphaelite movement, and for several of whose paintings Christina modeled.

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Song

When I am dead, my dearest,

Sing no sad songs for me;

Plant thou no roses at my head,

Nor shady cypress tree:

Be the green grass above me

With showers and dewdrops wet;

And if thou wilt, remember,

And if thou wilt, forget.

I shall not see the shadows,

I shall not feel the rain;

I shall not hear the nightingale

Sing on, as if in pain:

And dreaming through the twilight

That doth not rise nor set,

Haply I may remember,

And haply may forget.

Remember

Remember me when I am gone away,

Gone far away into the silent land;

When you can no more hold me by the hand,

Nor I half turn to go yet turning stay.

Remember me when no more day by day

You tell me of our future that you plann’d:

Only remember me; you understand

It will be late to counsel then or pray.

Yet if you should forget me for a while

And afterwards remember, do not grieve:

For if the darkness and corruption leave

A vestige of the thoughts that once I had,

Better by far you should forget and smile

Than that you should remember and be sad.

Christina Georgina Rossetti (1830–1894) was one of the leading poets of Victorian England. Deeply religious, she was opposed to slavery, war, animal research, and the exploitation of women. From 1859 to 1870 she served as a volunteer at a refuge for former prostitutes. The portrait of Christina Rossetti is by her brother, Dante Gabriel Rossetti, a founding member of the avant-garde Pre-Raphaelite movement, and for several of whose paintings Christina modeled.

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Comments
2

Goblin Market speaks to me. This work is said to be an expression of Rossett's feminist side.

April 1, 2010

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