Thursday, October 11, 2012

Christina Rossetti, Dream Land

Dante Gabriel Rossetti: Day Dream
Where sunless rivers weep
Their waves into the deep,
She sleeps a charmed sleep:
Awake her not.
Led by a single star,
She came from very far
To seek where shadows are
Her pleasant lot.

She left the rosy morn,
She left the fields of corn,
For twilight cold and lorn
And water springs.
Through sleep, as through a veil,
She sees the sky look pale,
And hears the nightingale
That sadly sings.

Rest, rest, a perfect rest
Shed over brow and breast;
Her face is toward the west,
The purple land.
She cannot see the grain
Ripening on hill and plain;
She cannot feel the rain
Upon her hand.

Rest, rest, for evermore
Upon a mossy shore;
Rest, rest at the heart's core
Till time shall cease:
Sleep that no pain shall wake;
Night that no morn shall break
Till joy shall overtake
Her perfect peace.
Christina Rossetti  (1830-1894).


Teresa Evangeline said...

Oh, Grethe, I was just thinking of you and here you are with the Perfect Poem. It somehow seems to match the post I just put up, almost in synchronicity with yours.

It's so good to hear form you and to read this wonderful poem.

Cait O'Connor said...

So so beautiful, thank you.

Anna said...

Hi Grethe!

How lovely to read a poem by Christina Rossetti, and to see one of the many wonderful paintings by her brother D.G. Rossetti.

I love Pre-Raphaelite art and I have a keen interest in the art of Dante Gabriel Rossetti.

A few years ago I was very cheeky. Having discovered that one of descendants of D.G. Rossetti lived only nine miles away, I phoned him and asked if I could meet him. He told me where he lived and I went to his house.

He was an elderly man and lived in a very old place "The Silver Star" which had once been a pub (so he told me.) It was a beautiful country home, filled with antique furniture and interesting objects.

He was very interesting and really looked like Dante Rossetti, (he was Italian! ) father of D.G. And Christina Rossetti.

To my amazement, he owned drawings by Rossetti's father, some items (including a tea caddy) which had belonged to D.G Rossetti and a lovely book, which the artist and his sister and presented to their mother, on her birthday.

How amazing it was, to look inside the cover and discover lovely, intricate designs, drawn by D.G. Rossetti and a wonderful, long inscription, so full of love and affection, written, by hand, by Christina!

Inside an envelope, was a letter that Christina, again, had written to her mother. Can you believe it? He told me that most the Rossettis live in London and that after Dante Gabriel and Christina, there were lots of doctors in the family, but no artists!

I felt so lucky that day!

When I got married to my husband, the reading was a poem by Christina Rossetti: " A Birthday"

Here it is:

My heart is like a singing bird
Whose nest is in a watered shoot;
My heart is like an apple tree
Whose boughs are bent with thickset fruit;
My heart is like a rainbow shell
That paddles in a halcyon sea;
My heart is gladder than all these
Because my love is come to me.
Raise me a dais of silk and down;
Hang it with vair and purple dyes;
Carve it in doves, and pomegranates,
And peacocks with a hundred eyes;
Work it in gold and silver grapes,
In leaves, and silver fleurs-de-lys;
Because the birthday of my life
Is come, my love is come to me.

Christina Rossetti


Thyra said...

Thank you so much Teresa, I'm glad for your reactions on this poem for I love the Pre-Raphaelites, both their poetry and their paintings. I've just seen your post, it's absolutely charming. I love Degas. I'll come back to your post this afternoon. (downtown doctor)

Hej Cait O'Connor!It's so lovely to hear from you. How are you over there in beautiful Wales? I cannot find your blog among the blogs I follow and this must be one of my errors, for I remember you well. I'll try to find out.

Anna, your story is absolutely beautiful and amazing and it must be wonderful to have that experience. You have been in a Rossetti house and seen all the antiques and lovely letters. I wonder if he is still there. You must have felt like you were in the middle of a day dream like the lady in the Rossetti-painting!!

And thank you for that beautiful poem, Anna. And for telling this special story. I love the Pre-Raphaelites too. I guess you know the website: artrenewal?? It holds a lot of paintings by these artists.

There is a British actress - (name?)- she-s Irene in The Forsyte-saga. She looks like the model used much in their paintings (like this Day Dream).

cheers to all three of you.
Grethe ´)