Christina Rossetti: Poems

Who Shall Deliver Me?

(The Argosy, Feb. 1866.)

God strengthen me to bear myself;

That heaviest weight of all to bear,

Inalienable weight of care.

All others are outside myself,

I lock my door and bar them out

The turmoil, tedium, gad-about.

I lock my door upon myself,

And bar them out; but who shall wall

Self from myself, most loathed of all?

If I could once lay down myself, 10

And start self-purged upon the race

That all must run! Death runs apace.

If I could set aside myself,

And start with lightened heart upon

The road by all men overgone!

God harden me against myself,

This coward with pathetic voice

Who craves for ease, and rest, and joys:

Myself, arch-traitor to myself;

My hollowest friend, my deadliest foe, 20

My clog whatever road I go.

Yet One there is can curb myself,

Can roll the strangling load from me,

Break off the yoke and set me free.