De Profundis

By Christina Rossetti 1830–1894 Christina Rossetti
Oh why is heaven built so far,
         Oh why is earth set so remote?
I cannot reach the nearest star
         That hangs afloat.

I would not care to reach the moon,
         One round monotonous of change;
Yet even she repeats her tune
         Beyond my range.

I never watch the scatter'd fire
         Of stars, or sun's far-trailing train,
But all my heart is one desire,
         And all in vain:

For I am bound with fleshly bands,
         Joy, beauty, lie beyond my scope;
I strain my heart, I stretch my hands,
         And catch at hope.

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Poet Christina Rossetti 1830–1894

POET’S REGION England

SCHOOL / PERIOD Victorian

Subjects Faith & Doubt, Religion, Relationships, Love, Romantic Love, Classic Love, Unrequited Love

Poetic Terms Rhymed Stanza

 Christina  Rossetti

Biography

Of all Victorian women poets, posterity has been kindest to Christina Rossetti. Her poetry has never disappeared from view, and her reputation, though it suffered a decline in the first half of the twentieth century, has always been preserved to some degree. Critical interest in Rossetti’s poetry swelled in the final decades of the twentieth century, a resurgence largely impelled by the emergence of feminist criticism; much of . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Faith & Doubt, Religion, Relationships, Love, Romantic Love, Classic Love, Unrequited Love

POET’S REGION England

SCHOOL / PERIOD Victorian

Poetic Terms Rhymed Stanza

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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