Insomnia

By Dante Gabriel Rossetti 1828–1882
Thin are the night-skirts left behind
                  By daybreak hours that onward creep,
                  And thin, alas! the shred of sleep
That wavers with the spirit's wind:
But in half-dreams that shift and roll
                  And still remember and forget,
My soul this hour has drawn your soul
                                 A little nearer yet.

Our lives, most dear, are never near,
                  Our thoughts are never far apart,
                  Though all that draws us heart to heart
Seems fainter now and now more clear.
To-night Love claims his full control,
                  And with desire and with regret
My soul this hour has drawn your soul
                                 A little nearer yet.

Is there a home where heavy earth
                  Melts to bright air that breathes no pain,
                  Where water leaves no thirst again
And springing fire is Love's new birth?
If faith long bound to one true goal
                  May there at length its hope beget,
My soul that hour shall draw your soul
                                 For ever nearer yet.

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Poet Dante Gabriel Rossetti 1828–1882

POET’S REGION England

SCHOOL / PERIOD Victorian

Subjects Relationships, Living, Sorrow & Grieving, Love, Romantic Love, Desire, Infatuation & Crushes

Occasions Farewells & Good Luck

Poetic Terms Rhymed Stanza

 Dante Gabriel Rossetti

Biography

Dante Gabriel Rossetti was born 12 May 1828 in London, the second child and eldest son of Italian expatriates. His father, Gabriele Rossetti, was a Dante scholar, who had been exiled from Naples for writing poetry in support of the Neapolitan Constitution of 1819. Rossetti’s mother had trained as a governess and supervised her children's early education. Few Victorian families were as gifted as the Rossettis: the oldest child, . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Relationships, Living, Sorrow & Grieving, Love, Romantic Love, Desire, Infatuation & Crushes

POET’S REGION England

SCHOOL / PERIOD Victorian

Poetic Terms Rhymed Stanza

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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