Christina Rossetti: Poems

In The Round Tower At Jhansi

June 8, 1857

A hundred, a thousand to one; even so;

Not a hope in the world remained:

The swarming howling wretches below

Gained and gained and gained.

Skene looked at his pale young wife:--

'Is the time come?'--'The time is come!'--

Young, strong, and so full of life:

The agony struck them dumb.

Close his arm about her now,

Close her cheek to his, 10

Close the pistol to her brow--

God forgive them this!

'Will it hurt much?'--'No, mine own:

I wish I could bear the pang for both.'

'I wish I could bear the pang alone:

Courage, dear, I am not loth.'

Kiss and kiss: 'It is not pain

Thus to kiss and die.

One kiss more.'--'And yet one again.'--

'Good-bye.'--'Good-bye.' 20