Christina Rossetti: Poems

Death's Chill Between

(Athenaeum, October 14, 1848)

Chide not; let me breathe a little,

For I shall not mourn him long;

Though the life-cord was so brittle,

The love-cord was very strong.

I would wake a little space

Till I find a sleeping-place.

You can go,--I shall not weep;

You can go unto your rest.

My heart-ache is all too deep,

And too sore my throbbing breast. 10

Can sobs be, or angry tears,

Where are neither hopes nor fears?

Though with you I am alone

And must be so everywhere,

I will make no useless moan,--

None shall say 'She could not bear:'

While life lasts I will be strong,--

But I shall not struggle long.

Listen, listen! Everywhere

A low voice is calling me, 20

And a step is on the stair,

And one comes ye do not see,

Listen, listen! Evermore

A dim hand knocks at the door.

Hear me; he is come again,--

My own dearest is come back.

Bring him in from the cold rain;

Bring wine, and let nothing lack.

Thou and I will rest together,

Love, until the sunny weather. 30

I will shelter thee from harm,--

Hide thee from all heaviness.

Come to me, and keep thee warm

By my side in quietness.

I will lull thee to thy sleep

With sweet songs:--we will not weep.

Who hath talked of weeping?--Yet

There is something at my heart,

Gnawing, I would fain forget,

And an aching and a smart. 40

--Ah! my mother, 'tis in vain,

For he is _not_ come again.