Christina Rossetti: Poems

At Home

When I was dead, my spirit turned

To seek the much-frequented house:

I passed the door, and saw my friends

Feasting beneath green orange boughs;

From hand to hand they pushed the wine,

They sucked the pulp of plum and peach;

They sang, they jested, and they laughed,

For each was loved of each.

I listened to their honest chat:

Said one: 'To-morrow we shall be 10

Plod plod along the featureless sands,

And coasting miles and miles of sea.'

Said one: 'Before the turn of tide

We will achieve the eyrie-seat.'

Said one: 'To-morrow shall be like

To-day, but much more sweet.'

'To-morrow,' said they, strong with hope,

And dwelt upon the pleasant way:

'To-morrow,' cried they, one and all,

While no one spoke of yesterday. 20

Their life stood full at blessed noon;

I, only I, had passed away:

'To-morrow and to-day,' they cried;

I was of yesterday.

I shivered comfortless, but cast

No chill across the tablecloth;

I, all-forgotten, shivered, sad

To stay, and yet to part how loth:

I passed from the familiar room,

I who from love had passed away, 30

Like the remembrance of a guest

That tarrieth but a day.