Christina Rossetti, Poet

Christina Rossetti

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Christina Rossetti was born in 1830 and was associated with the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood. Her brother, Dante, was a prominent member of the PRB, and her elder sister became an Anglican Religious. Her own poetry deals mainly with religious subjects but also the sadness of unrequited or disappointed love. She died on this day in the year 1894.

In the bleak midwinter
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 midwinter,
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 incarnate,
Jesus Christ.
Enough for him, whom Cherubim
Worship night and day
A breast full of milk
And a manger full 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 his mother only,
In her maiden bliss,
Worshipped the Beloved
With a kiss.
What can I give him,
Poor as I am?
If I were a shepherd
I would bring a lamb,
If I were a wise man
I would do my part,
Yet what I can I give Him —
Give my heart.
When I am dead my dearest, sing no sad song for me,
Plant thou no roses at my head, nor shady cypress tree.
See 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 throughout the twilight that doth not rise nor set,
Hap’ly will remember, and happily will forget".
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