A Dirge

By Christina Rossetti 1830–1894 Christina Rossetti
Why were you born when the snow was falling?
You should have come to the cuckoo’s calling,
Or when grapes are green in the cluster,
Or, at least, when lithe swallows muster
   For their far off flying
   From summer dying.

Why did you die when the lambs were cropping?
You should have died at the apples’ dropping,
When the grasshopper comes to trouble,
And the wheat-fields are sodden stubble,
   And all winds go sighing
   For sweet things dying.


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Poet Christina Rossetti 1830–1894

POET’S REGION England

SCHOOL / PERIOD Victorian

Subjects Love, Heartache & Loss

 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 Love, Heartache & Loss

POET’S REGION England

SCHOOL / PERIOD Victorian

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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