Sunday Poetry – Christina Rossetti


I enjoy doing the crosswords in the weekend papers. Not the cryptic ones, I don’t have that kind of brain, the general knowledge crosswords. A now-retired friend from the library also enjoys the crosswords & we email each other on Monday mornings to compare & help fill in any gaps. We have rules. We’re allowed to look up 1 across & down & the middle names of people. I’m also allowed to look up Rorschach (had to look it up then – I cannot spell it!).  I’m better at clues about poetry, classical music & obscure English literature, G is better on Australian history, geography & anyone buried at Boroondara Cemetery (where she gives guided walks). We’re both good on books in general although we have very different tastes.

This morning’s crossword had a clue from this poem, Up-Hill, & I did look it up because I could only remember the first verse & the clue was in the second verse. It’s a very poignant poem, especially in a world with an unprecedented refugee crisis. I hope they don’t have to wait to get to Heaven (or their equivalent) before they find rest.

Does the road wind up-hill all the way?
   Yes, to the very end.
Will the day’s journey take the whole long day?
   From morn to night, my friend.

But is there for the night a resting-place?
   A roof for when the slow dark hours begin.
May not the darkness hide it from my face?
   You cannot miss that inn.

Shall I meet other wayfarers at night?
   Those who have gone before.
Then must I knock, or call when just in sight?
   They will not keep you standing at that door.

Shall I find comfort, travel-sore and weak?
   Of labour you shall find the sum.
Will there be beds for me and all who seek?
   Yea, beds for all who come.

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