One final poem from the anthology I’ve been reading during Lent. Christina Rossetti is one of my favourite poets & this lovely poem is one of her most optimistic & joyful. Rossetti lived such a quiet life in many ways. I remember reading her letters over several years as they were published & I thought they were fascinating even though they were often just short notes about a charity she was involved in or an enquiry after a friend. There was very little about her poetry but I loved their quiet domesticity as she cared for several elderly aunts & her mother in their last years.
My heart is like a singing bird
Whose nest is in a water’d 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.