Verse > Anthologies > Alfred H. Miles, ed. > Women Poets of the Nineteenth Century
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Alfred H. Miles, ed.  Women Poets of the Nineteenth Century.  1907.
 
Sing-Song
By Christina Georgina Rossetti (1830–1894)
 
I.
LOVE me,—I love you,
  Love me, my baby;
Sing it high, sing it low,
  Sing as it may be.
 
Mother’s arms under you,        5
  Her eyes above you;
Sing it high, sing it low,
  Love me,—I love you.
 
II.
Heartsease in my garden bed,
  With sweetwilliam white and red,        10
Honeysuckle on my wall:—
  Heartsease blossoms in my heart
When sweet William comes to call,
  But it withers when we part,
And the honey-trumpets fall.        15
 
III.
What are heavy? sea-sand and sorrow:
What are brief? to-day and to-morrow:
What are frail? Spring blossoms and youth:
What are deep? the ocean and truth.
 
IV.
The days are clear,
        20
  Day after day,
When April’s here,
  That leads to May
  And June
Must follow soon:        25
  Stay, June, stay!—
If only we could stop the moon
And June!
 
V.
Twist me a crown of wind-flowers;
  That I may fly away        30
To hear the singers at their song,
  And players at their play.
 
Put on your crown of wind-flowers:
  But whither would you go?
Beyond the surging of the sea        35
  And the storms that blow.
 
Alas! your crown of wind-flowers
  Can never make you fly:
I twist them in a crown to-day,
  And to-night they die.        40
 
VI.
I planted a hand
  And there came up a palm
I planted a heart
  And there came up balm.
 
Then I planted a wish,        45
  But there sprang a thorn,
While heaven frowned with thunder
  And earth sighed forlorn.
 
VII.
Roses blushing red and white
        For delight;        50
Honeysuckle wreaths above,
        For love;
Dim sweet-scented heliotrope,
        For hope;
Shining lilies tall and straight,        55
        For royal state;
Dusky pansies, let them be
        For memory;
With violets of fragrant breath,
        For death.        60
 
VIII.
When a mounting skylark sings
  In the sunlit summer morn,
I know that heaven is up on high,
  And on earth are fields of corn.
 
But when a nightingale sings        65
  In the moonlit summer even,
I know not if earth is merely earth,
  Only that heaven is heaven.
 
IX.
“Good bye in fear, good bye in sorrow,
  Good bye, and all in vain,        70
Never to meet again, my dear—”
  “Never to part again.”
“Good bye to-day, good bye to-morrow,
  Good bye till earth shall wane,
Never to meet again, my dear—”        75
  “Never to part again.”
 
 
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