Christina Rossetti: Poems

Shut Out

The door was shut. I looked between

Its iron bars; and saw it lie,

My garden, mine, beneath the sky,

Pied with all flowers bedewed and green:

From bough to bough the song-birds crossed,

From flower to flower the moths and bees;

With all its nests and stately trees

It had been mine, and it was lost.

A shadowless spirit kept the gate,

Blank and unchanging like the grave. 10

I peering through said: 'Let me have

Some buds to cheer my outcast state.'

He answered not. 'Or give me, then,

But one small twig from shrub or tree;

And bid my home remember me

Until I come to it again.'

The spirit was silent; but he took

Mortar and stone to build a wall;

He left no loophole great or small

Through which my straining eyes might look: 20

So now I sit here quite alone

Blinded with tears; nor grieve for that,

For nought is left worth looking at

Since my delightful land is gone.

A violet bed is budding near,

Wherein a lark has made her nest:

And good they are, but not the best;

And dear they are, but not so dear.