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Best Famous Christina Rossetti Poems

Here is a collection of the all-time best famous Christina Rossetti poems. This is a select list of the best famous Christina Rossetti poetry. Reading, writing, and enjoying famous Christina Rossetti poetry (as well as classical and contemporary poems) is a great past time. These top poems are the best examples of Christina Rossetti poems.

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by Christina Rossetti |

A Daughter of Eve

A fool I was to sleep at noon,
  And wake when night is chilly
Beneath the comfortless cold moon;
A fool to pluck my rose too soon,
  A fool to snap my lily.

My garden-plot I have not kept;
  Faded and all-forsaken,
I weep as I have never wept:
Oh it was summer when I slept,
  It's winter now I waken.

Talk what you please of future spring
  And sun-warm'd sweet to-morrow:—
Stripp'd bare of hope and everything,
No more to laugh, no more to sing,
  I sit alone with sorrow.


by Christina Rossetti |

In an Artists Studio

One face looks out from all his canvases,
     One selfsame figure sits or walks or leans:
     We found her hidden just behind those screens,
That mirror gave back all her loveliness.
A queen in opal or in ruby dress,
     A nameless girl in freshest summer-greens,
     A saint, an angel—every canvas means
The same one meaning, neither more nor less.
He feeds upon her face by day and night,
     And she with true kind eyes looks back on him,
Fair as the moon and joyful as the light:
     Not wan with waiting, not with sorrow dim;
No as she is, but was when hope shone bright;
     Not as she is, but as she fills his dream.


by Robert Graves |

Free Verse

 I now delight 
In spite 
Of the might 
And the right 
Of classic tradition, 
In writing 
And reciting 
Straight ahead, 
Without let or omission, 
Just any little rhyme
In any little time 
That runs in my head; 
Because, I’ve said, 
My rhymes no longer shall stand arrayed
Like Prussian soldiers on parade
That march, 
Stiff as starch, 
Foot to foot, 
Boot to boot, 
Blade to blade,
Button to button, 
Cheeks and chops and chins like mutton.
No! No! 
My rhymes must go 
Turn ’ee, twist ’ee,
Twinkling, frosty, 
Will-o’-the-wisp-like, misty; 
Rhymes I will make 
Like Keats and Blake 
And Christina Rossetti,
With run and ripple and shake. 
How pretty 
To take 
A merry little rhyme 
In a jolly little time
And poke it, 
And choke it, 
Change it, arrange it, 
Straight-lace it, deface it, 
Pleat it with pleats, 
Sheet it with sheets 
Of empty conceits, 
And chop and chew, 
And hack and hew, 
And weld it into a uniform stanza,
And evolve a neat, 
Complacent, complete, 
Academic extravaganza!


by Christina Rossetti |

Winter: My Secret

 I tell my secret? No indeed, not I:
Perhaps some day, who knows?
But not today; it froze, and blows, and snows,
And you're too curious: fie!
You want to hear it? well:
Only, my secret's mine, and I won't tell.

Or, after all, perhaps there's none:
Suppose there is no secret after all,
But only just my fun.
Today's a nipping day, a biting day;
In which one wants a shawl,
A veil, a cloak, and other wraps:
I cannot ope to every one who taps,
And let the draughts come whistling thro' my hall;
Come bounding and surrounding me,
Come buffeting, astounding me,
Nipping and clipping thro' my wraps and all.
I wear my mask for warmth: who ever shows
His nose to Russian snows
To be pecked at by every wind that blows?
You would not peck? I thank you for good will,
Believe, but leave that truth untested still.

Spring's and expansive time: yet I don't trust
March with its peck of dust,
Nor April with its rainbow-crowned brief showers,
Nor even May, whose flowers
One frost may wither thro' the sunless hours.
Perhaps some languid summer day,
When drowsy birds sing less and less,
And golden fruit is ripening to excess,
If there's not too much sun nor too much cloud,
And the warm wind is neither still nor loud,
Perhaps my secret I may say,
Or you may guess.


by Christina Rossetti |

A Study (A Soul)

 She stands as pale as Parian statues stand;
 Like Cleopatra when she turned at bay,
 And felt her strength above the Roman sway,
And felt the aspic writhing in her hand.
Her face is steadfast toward the shadowy land,
 For dim beyond it looms the light of day;
 Her feet are steadfast; all the arduous way
That foot-track hath not wavered on the sand.
She stands there like a beacon thro' the night,
 A pale clear beacon where the storm-drift is;
She stands alone, a wonder deathly white;
She stands there patient, nerved with inner might,
 Indomitable in her feebleness,
Her face and will athirst against the light.


by Christina Rossetti |

What Would I Give

 What would I give for a heart of flesh to warm me through,
Instead of this heart of stone ice-cold whatever I do!
Hard and cold and small, of all hearts the worst of all.

What would I give for words, if only words would come!
But now in its misery my spirit has fallen dumb.
O merry friends, go your own way, I have never a word to say.

What would I give for tears! Not smiles but scalding tears,
To wash the black mark clean, and to thaw the frost of years,
To wash the stain ingrain, and to make me clean again.


by Christina Rossetti |

Who Has Seen the Wind?

 Who has seen the wind?
Neither I nor you.
But when the leaves hang trembling,
The wind is passing through.
Who has seen the wind?
Neither you nor I.
But when the trees bow down their heads,
The wind is passing by.


by Christina Rossetti |

When I am dead my dearest

 When I am dead, my dearest,
Sing no sad songs for me;
Plant thou no roses at my head,
Nor shady cypress tree:
Be the green grass above me
With showers and dewdrops wet;
And if thou wilt, remember,
And if thou wilt, forget.

I shall not see the shadows,
I shall not feel the rain;
I shall not hear the nightingale
Sing on, as if in pain:
And dreaming through the twilight
That doth not rise nor set,
Haply I may remember,
And haply may forget.


by Christina Rossetti |

Remember

 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 the thoughts that once I had,
Better by far you should forget and smile
Than that you should remember and be sad.


by Christina Rossetti |

A Birthday

 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 thickset 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.