| Share
 

Mother Country

March 1868.

by Christina Rossetti
Oh what is that country
  And where can it be,
Not mine own country,
  But dearer far to me?
Yet mine own country,
  If I one day may see
Its spices and cedars,
  Its gold and ivory.
As I lie dreaming
  It rises, that land:
There rises before me
  Its green golden strand,
With its bowing cedars
  And its shining sand;
It sparkles and flashes
  Like a shaken brand.
Do angels lean nearer
  While I lie and long?
I see their soft plumage
  And catch their windy song,
Like the rise of a high tide
  Sweeping full and strong;
I mark the outskirts
  Of their reverend throng.
Oh what is a king here,
  Or what is a boor?
Here all starve together,
  All dwarfed and poor;
Here Death's hand knocketh
  At door after door,
He thins the dancers
  From the festal floor.
Oh what is a handmaid,
  Or what is a queen?
All must lie down together
  Where the turf is green,
The foulest face hidden,
  The fairest not seen;
Gone as if never,
  They had breathed or been.
Gone from sweet sunshine
  Underneath the sod,
Turned from warm flesh and blood
  To senseless clod,
Gone as if never
  They had toiled or trod,
Gone out of sight of all
  Except our God.
Shut into silence
  From the accustomed song,
Shut into solitude
  From all earth's throng,
Run down tho' swift of foot,
  Thrust down tho' strong;
Life made an end of
  Seemed it short or long.
Life made an end of,
  Life but just begun,
Life finished yesterday,
  Its last sand run;
Life new-born with the morrow,
  Fresh as the sun:
While done is done for ever;
  Undone, undone.
And if that life is life,
  This is but a breath,
The passage of a dream
  And the shadow of death;
But a vain shadow
  If one considereth;
Vanity of vanities,
  As the Preacher saith.

24 X 7

Private Tutor

Click Here for Details
24 x 7 Tutor Availability
Unlimited Online Tutoring
1-on-1 Tutoring