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

Christina Georgina Rossetti 1830–94

The Unseen World. IV. Wife to Husband


PARDON the faults in me,

For the love of years ago:


I must drift across the sea,

I must sink into the snow,

I must die.

You can bask in this sun,

You can drink wine, and eat:


I must gird myself and run

Though with unready feet:

I must die.

Blank sea to sail upon,

Cold bed to sleep in:


While you clasp, I must be gone

For all your weeping:

I must die.

A kiss for one friend,

And a word for two,—


A lock that you must send,

A kindness you must do:

I must die.

Not a word for you.

Not a lock or kiss,


We, one, must part in two;

Verily death is this:

I must die.