Christina Rossetti: Memory


I nursed it in my bosom while it lived,   I hid it in my heart when it was dead; In joy I sat alone, even so I grieved     Alone and nothing said.
I shut the door to face the naked truth,   I stood alone—I faced the truth alone, Stripped bare of self-regard or forms or ruth     Till first and last were shown.
I took the perfect balances and weighed;   No shaking of my hand disturbed the poise; Weighed, found it wanting: not a word I said,     But silent made my choice.
None know the choice I made; I make it still.   None know the choice I made and broke my heart, Breaking mine idol: I have braced my will     Once, chosen for once my part.
I broke it at a blow, I laid it cold,   Crushed in my deep heart where it used to live. My heart dies inch by inch; the time grows old,     Grows old in which I grieve. 
I have a room whereinto no one enters   Save I myself alone:   There sits a blessed memory on a throne, There my life centres.
While winter comes and goes—oh tedious comer!—   And while its nip-wind blows;   While bloom the bloodless lily and warm rose Of lavish summer.
If any should force entrance he might see there   One buried yet not dead,   Before whose face I no more bow my head Or bend my knee there;
But often in my worn life's autumn weather   I watch there with clear eyes,   And think how it will be in Paradise When we're together.