Christina Rossetti: The World

The World


By day she woos me, soft, exceeding fair:   But all night as the moon so changeth she;   Loathsome and foul with hideous leprosy And subtle serpents gliding in her hair. By day she woos me to the outer air,   Ripe fruits, sweet flowers, and full satiety:   But through the night, a beast she grins at me, A very monster void of love and prayer. By day she stands a lie: by night she stands   In all the naked horror of the truth With pushing horns and clawed and clutching hands. Is this a friend indeed; that I should sell   My soul to her, give her my life and youth, Till my feet, cloven too, take hold on hell?