Friday, February 5, 2010

I loved you first, a poem by Christina Rossetti.

Post 423 - This poem is in keeping with my theme this week on the role of love in sustaining ideal relationships. Christina Rossetti was born in London in 1830 and was educated at home by her mother. Her brother was the famous poet and painter Dante Gabriel Rossetti so her house was a regular meeting place for the group of artists later known as the Pre-Raphaelites. Rossetti began writing at age seven, but she was 18 when her first published poem appeared in the Athenaeum magazine. Despite a lifetime of illness, she continued to write poetry. Her most famous collection, Goblin Market and Other Poems, was published in 1862 when she was 31. She died of cancer in 1894.

She once wrote, "When I am dead my dearest, sing no sad song for me, Plant thou no roses at my head, nor shady cypress tree. See 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 throughout the twilight that doth not rise nor set, Hap'ly will remember, and happily will forget".

I loved you first, by Christina Rossetti.

I loved you first: but afterwards your love
Outsoaring mine, sang such a loftier song
As drowned the friendly cooings of my dove.
Which owes the other most? My love was long,
And yours one moment seemed to wax more strong;
I loved and guessed at you, you construed me
And loved me for what might or might not be –
Nay, weights and measures do us both a wrong.
For verily love knows not ‘mine’ or ‘thine;’
With separate ‘I’ and ‘thou’ free love has done,
For one is both and both are one in love:
Rich love knows nought of ‘thine that is not mine;’
Both have the strength and both the length thereof,
Both of us, of the love which makes us one.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Very nice find. Thank you!