Christina Rossetti

Dec 5, 1830 - Dec 29, 1894


Christian And Jew

by Christina Rossetti

A dialogue

Oh happy happy land!
Angels like rushes stand
About the wells of light.
Alas, I have not eyes for this fair sight:
Hold fast my hand.

As in a soft wind, they
Bend all one blessed way,
Each bowed in his own glory, star with star.

I cannot see so far,
Here shadows are.

White-winged the cherubim,
Yet whiter seraphim,
Glow white with intense fire of love.
Mine eyes are dim:
I look in vain above, And miss their hymn.

Angels, Archangels cry
One to other ceaselessly
(I hear them sing)
One 'Holy, Holy, Holy' to their King.
I do not hear them, I. --

At one side Paradise
Is curtained from the rest,
Made green for wearied eyes;
Much softer than the breast
Of mother-dove clad in a rainbow's dyes.

All precious souls are there
Most safe, elect by grace,
All tears are wiped for ever from their face:
Untired in prayer
They wait and praise
Hidden for a little space.

Boughs of the Living Vine
They spread in summer shine
Green leaf with leaf:
Sap of the Royal Vine it stirs like wine
In all both less and chief.

Sing to the Lord,
All spirits of all flesh, sing;
For He hath not abhorred
Our low estate nor scorn'd our offering:
Shout to our King.

But Zion said:
My Lord forgetteth me.
Lo, she hath made her bed
In dust; forsaken weepeth she
Where alien rivers swell the sea.

She laid her body as the ground,
Her tender body as the ground to those
Who passed; her harpstrings cannot sound
In a strange land; discrowned
She sits, and drunk with woes.

O drunken not with wine,
Whose sins and sorrows have fulfilled the sum, --
Be not afraid, arise, be no more dumb;
Arise, shine,
For thy light is come.

Can these bones live? --
God knows:
The prophet saw such clothed with flesh and skin;
A wind blew on them and life entered in;
They shook and rose.
Hasten the time, O Lord, blot out their sin,
Let life begin.


Goblin Market and Other Poems
Copyright 1865
Macmillan And Co.London and Cambridge