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C.D. Warner, et al., comp. The Library of the World’s Best Literature.
An Anthology in Thirty Volumes. 1917.

Amor Mundi

By Christina Georgina Rossetti (1830–1894)

From ‘Poems’

“OH, where are you going with your love-locks flowing

On the west wind blowing along this valley track?”—

“The down-hill path is easy; come with me an it please ye:

We shall escape the up-hill by never turning back.”

So they two went together in glowing August weather:

The honey-breathing heather lay to their left and right;

And dear she was to doat on, her swift feet seemed to float on

The air like soft twin pigeons too sportive to alight.

“Oh, what is that in heaven where gray cloud-flakes are seven,

Where blackest clouds hang riven just at the rainy skirt?”—

“Oh, that’s a meteor sent us, a message dumb, portentous,

An undeciphered solemn signal of help or hurt.”

“Oh, what is that glides quickly where velvet flowers grow thickly,

Their scent comes rich and sickly?”—“A scaled and hooded worm.”

“Oh, what’s that in the hollow, so pale I quake to follow?”—

“Oh, that’s a thin dead body which waits the eternal term.”

“Turn again, O my sweetest,—turn again, false and fleetest:

This beaten way thou beatest I fear is hell’s own track.”—

“Nay, too steep for hill mounting; nay, too late for cost counting:

This downward path is easy, but there’s no turning back.”