promise as a poet while still very young. She was educated at home and
encouraged to write by her family; her teenage poems were printed by her
grandfather on his own press.
She was a devout Anglican, and refused two suitors on religious grounds: the
painter James Collinson because he became a Roman Catholic; and Charles Bagot
Cayley, because he was an atheist. Perhaps as a result of this self-denial, a
recurrent theme in her poetry is the rejection of earthly passion in favour of
Rossetti's health was always poor, and illness had rendered her an invalid by
the time she was fifty.
is widely regarded as the greatest female poet in English up to her own time.
She was considered for the position of Poet Laureate, before her final illness
made the appointment impossible.
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.
Christina Georgina Rossetti
thou: [archaic] second personal pronoun, in the singular number
(you), used in addressing persons in the solemn or poetical style.
wilt: [archaic] poetic form of 'will'
sing on: continue singing
doth: [archaic] poetic and biblical form of 'does': He/she/it
haply: perhaps, by accident, by chance, by luck
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