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

Christina Georgina Rossetti 1830–94

The Unseen World. III. After Death


THE CURTAINS were half drawn, the floor was swept

And strewn rushes, rosemary and may

Lay thick upon the bed on which I lay,

Where through the lattice ivy-shadows crept.

He lean’d above me, thinking that I slept

And could not hear him; but I heard him say:

“Poor child, poor child:” and as he turn’d away

Came a deep silence, and I knew he wept.

He did not touch the shroud, or raise the fold

That hid my face, or take my hand in his,

Or ruffle the smooth pillows for my head:

He did not love me living; but once dead

He pitied me; and very sweet it is

To know he still is warm though I am cold.