Christina Rossetti: Christian and Jew

Christian and Jew

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.'