"Many in aftertimes will say of you"

By Christina Rossetti 1830–1894 Christina Rossetti

Vien dietro a me e lascia dir le genti. – Dante
Contando i casi della vita nostra.
– Petrarca

Many in aftertimes will say of you
    ‘He loved her’ – while of me what will they say?
    Not that I loved you more than just in play,
For fashion’s sake as idle women do.
Even let them prate; who know not what we knew
    Of love and parting in exceeding pain.
    Of parting hopeless here to meet again,
Hopeless on earth, and heaven is out of view.
But by my heart of love laid bare to you.
    My love that you can make not void nor vain,
Love that foregoes you but to claim anew
    Beyond this passage of the gate of death,
I charge you at the Judgment make it plain
    My love of you was life and not a breath.

Discover this poem’s context and related poetry, articles, and media.

Poet Christina Rossetti 1830–1894

POET’S REGION England

SCHOOL / PERIOD Victorian

Subjects Love, Romantic 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 . . .

Continue reading this biography

Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Love, Romantic Love, Heartache & Loss

POET’S REGION England

SCHOOL / PERIOD Victorian

Report a problem with this poem

Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

This poem has learning resources.

This poem is good for children.

This poem has related video.

This poem has related audio.