Christina Rossetti: Poems

Life And Death

Life is not sweet. One day it will be sweet

To shut our eyes and die:

Nor feel the wild flowers blow, nor birds dart by

With flitting butterfly,

Nor grass grow long above our heads and feet,

Nor hear the happy lark that soars sky high,

Nor sigh that spring is fleet and summer fleet,

Nor mark the waxing wheat,

Nor know who sits in our accustomed seat.

Life is not good. One day it will be good 10

To die, then live again;

To sleep meanwhile: so not to feel the wane

Of shrunk leaves dropping in the wood,

Nor hear the foamy lashing of the main,

Nor mark the blackened bean-fields, nor where stood

Rich ranks of golden grain

Only dead refuse stubble clothe the plain:

Asleep from risk, asleep from pain.