Three Views of Mutability and Impermanence--Christina Rossetti Revisited


This is one of those poems about which your teacher would require you to write a compare and contrast "theme." Don't do that. Just enjoy the language and the message--distinct, straightforward, clear.

Passing away, Saith the World
Christina Rossetti

            Passing away, saith the World, passing away:
            Chances, beauty and youth, sapp'd day by day:
            Thy life never continueth in one stay.
            Is the eye waxen dim, is the dark hair changing to grey
            That hath won neither laurel nor bay?
            I shall clothe myself in Spring and bud in May:
            Thou, root-stricken, shalt not rebuild thy decay
            On my bosom for aye.
            Then I answer'd: Yea.

            Passing away, saith my Soul, passing away:
            With its burden of fear and hope, of labour and play,
            Hearken what the past doth witness and say:
            Rust in thy gold, a moth is in thine array,
            A canker is in thy bud, thy leaf must decay.
            At midnight, at cockcrow, at morning, one certain day
            Lo, the Bridegroom shall come and shall not delay:
            Watch thou and pray.
            Then I answer'd: Yea.

            Passing away, saith my God, passing away:
            Winter passeth after the long delay:
            New grapes on the vine, new figs on the tender spray,
            Turtle calleth turtle in Heaven's May.
            Though I tarry, wait for Me, trust Me, watch and pray.
            Arise, come away, night is past and lo it is day,
            My love, My sister, My spouse, thou shalt hear Me say.
            Then I answer'd: Yea.

Bookmark and Share



About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Steven Riddle published on October 22, 2004 7:22 AM.

The Hideous Machinery of Death was the previous entry in this blog.

An Odd Ode by Thomas Gray is the next entry in this blog.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.

My Blogroll