Tag Archives: Christina Rossetti

A Birthday

Birthday. Marc Chagall. 1915.
Birthday. Marc Chagall. 1915.


A Birthday

Christina Rossetti


My heart is like a singing bird

Whose nest is in a water’d shoot;

My heart is like an apple-tree

Whose boughs are bent with thickest fruit;

My heart is like a rainbow shell

That paddles in a halcyon sea;

My heart is gladder than all these

Because my love is come to me.


Raise me a dais of silk and down;

Hang it with vair and purple dyes;

Carve it in doves and pomegranates,

And peacocks with a hundred eyes;

Work it in gold and silver grapes,

In leaves and silver fleurs-de-lys;

Because the birthday of my life

Is come, my love is come to me.


‘Sonnets Are Full of Love’

Mother and Child. Jessie Wilcox Smith. 1908.


Christina Rossetti, 1881


Sonnets are full of love, and this my tome

Has many sonnets: so here now shall be

One sonnet more, a love sonnet, from me

To her whose heart is my heart’s quiet home.

To my first Love, my mother, on whose knee

I learnt love-lore that is not troublesome;

Whose service is my special dignity,

And she my loadstar while I go and come

And so because you love me, and because

I love you, Mother, I have woven a wreath

Of rhymes wherewith to crown your honored name:

In you no fourscore years can dim the flame

Of love, whose blessed grow transcends the laws

Of time and change and mortal life and death.


This is the dedicatory sonnet that prefaces “my tome”—Rosetti’s fourth collection, A Pageant and Other Poems.

Remember Me

The Entombment of Atala. Anne-Louis Girodet de Roussy-Trioson. 1808.


Remember Me

Christina Rossetti (1830-1894)


Remember me when I am gone away,

Gone far away into the silent land;

When you can no more hold me by the hand,

Nor I half turn to go yet turning stay.

Remember me when no more day by day

You tell me of our future that you plann’d:

Only remember me; you understand

It will be late to counsel then or pray.
Yet if you should forget me for a while

And afterwards remember, do not grieve:

For if the darkness and corruption leave

A vestige of thoughts that once I had,

Better by far you should forget and smile

Than that you should remember and be sad.


This entry is a submission of Fiona of Vista Court.

Crying, My Little One

Life of Christ: Flight into Egypt. Giotto di Bondone


Crying, My Little One

Christina Rossetti, 1893


Crying, my little one, footsore and weary?

Fall asleep, pretty one, warm on my shoulder:

I must tramp on through the winter night dreary,

While snow falls on me colder and colder.


You are my one, and I have not another;

Sleep soft, my darling, my trouble and treasure;

Sleep warm and soft in the arms of your mother,

Dreaming of pretty things, dreaming of pleasure.


A Little Poetry—This poem comes from Rossetti’s nursery rhyme collection Sing Song.

A Little Music—Natalie Merchant sings “Crying, My Little One” (a rearrangement of the original lines) in her album Leave Your Sleep; you can listen to the entire track on YouTube. <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mNsmjZzdAf4>