Friday, August 15, 2008

Christina Georgina Rossetti - Dante Gabriel Rossetti

A Birthday My heart is like a singing bird Whose nest is in a water'd shoot; My heart is like an apple-tree Whose boughs are bent with thickset fruit; My heart is like a rainbow shell That paddles in a halcyon sea; My heart is gladder than all these Because my love is come to me. Raise me a dais of silk and down; Hang it with vair and purple dyes; Carve it in doves and pomegranates, And peacocks with a hundred eyes; Work it in gold and silver grapes, In leaves and silver fleurs-de-lys; Because the birthday of my life Is come, my love is come to me. A Study (A Soul) She stands as pale as Parian statues stand; Like Cleopatra when she turned at bay, And felt her strength above the Roman sway, And felt the aspic writhing in her hand. Her face is steadfast toward the shadowy land, For dim beyond it looms the light of day; Her feet are steadfast; all the arduous way That foot-track hath not wavered on the sand. She stands there like a beacon thro' the night, A pale clear beacon where the storm-drift is; She stands alone, a wonder deathly white; She stands there patient, nerved with inner might, Indomitable in her feebleness, Her face and will athirst against the light. Dream Land Where sunless rivers weep Their waves into the deep, She sleeps a charmed sleep: Awake her not. Led by a single star, She came from very far To seek where shadows are Her pleasant lot. She left the rosy morn, She left the fields of corn, For twilight cold and lorn And water springs. Through sleep, as through a veil, She sees the sky look pale, And hears the nightingale That sadly sings. Rest, rest, a perfect rest Shed over brow and breast; Her face is toward the west, The purple land. She cannot see the grain Ripening on hill and plain; She cannot feel the rain Upon her hand. Rest, rest, for evermore Upon a mossy shore; Rest, rest at the heart's core Till time shall cease: Sleep that no pain shall wake; Night that no morn shall break Till joy shall overtake Her perfect peace.

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