Home  »  A Victorian Anthology, 1837–1895  »  Christie’s Portrait

Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. (1833–1908). A Victorian Anthology, 1837–1895. 1895.

Gerald Massey b. 1828

Christie’s Portrait

YOUR tiny picture makes me yearn;

We are so far apart!

My darling, I can only turn

And kiss you in my heart.

A thousand tender thoughts a-wing

Swarm in a summer clime,

And hover round it murmuring

Like bees at honey-time.

Upon a little girl I look

Whose pureness makes me sad;

I read as in a holy book,

I grow in secret glad.

It seems my darling comes to me

With something I have lost

Over life’s toss’d and troubled sea,

On some celestial coast.

I think of her when spirit-bow’d;

A glory fills the place!

Like sudden light on swords, the proud

Smile flashes in my face:

And others see, in passing by,

But cannot understand

The vision shining in mine eye,

My strength of heart and hand.

That grave content and touching grace

Bring tears into mine eyes;

She makes my heart a holy place

Where hymns and incense rise.

Such calm her gentle spirit brings

As, smiling overhead,

White-statued saints with peaceful wings

Shadow the sleeping dead.

Our Christie is no rosy Grace

With beauty all may see,

But I have never felt a face

Grow half so dear to me.

No curling hair about her brows,

Like many merry girls;

Well, straighter to my heart it goes,

And round it curls and curls.

Meek as the wood anemone glints

To see if heaven be blue,

Is my pale flower with her sweet tints

Of heaven shining through.

She will be poor and never fret,

Sleep sound and lowly lie;

Will live her quiet life, and let

The great world-storm go by.

Dear love! God keep her in his grasp,

Meek maiden, or brave wife,

Till his good angels softly clasp

Her closed book of life!

And this fair picture of the sun,

With birthday blessings given,

Shall fade before a glorious one

Taken of her in heaven.