Home  »  A Victorian Anthology, 1837–1895  »  The Unseen World. I. At Home

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

Christina Georgina Rossetti 1830–94

The Unseen World. I. At Home


WHEN I was dead, my spirit turn’d

To seek the much-frequented house:

I pass’d the door, and saw my friends

Feasting beneath green orange-boughs;

From hand to hand they push’d the wine,

They suck’d the pulp of plum and peach;

They sang, they jested, and they laugh’d

For each was lov’d of each.

I listen’d to their honest chat:

Said one: “To-morrow we shall be

Plod plod along the featureless sands

And coasting miles and miles of sea.”

Said one: “Before the turn of tide

We will achieve the eyrie-seat.”

Said one: “To-morrow shall be like

To-day, but much more sweet.”

“To-morrow,” said they, strong with hope,

And dwelt upon the pleasant way:

“To-morrow,” cried they, one and all,

While no one spoke of yesterday.

Their life stood full at blessed noon;

I, only I, had pass’d away:

“To-morrow and to-day,” they cried;

I was of yesterday.

I shiver’d comfortless, but cast

No chill across the table-cloth;

I, all forgotten, shiver’d, sad

To stay, and yet to part how loth:

I pass’d from the familiar room,

I who from love had pass’d away.

Like the remembrance of a guest

That tarrieth but a day.